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Broadway House, Carter Lane, E.C. 









OF THE SOGA FAMILY . . . - . . .5 


JECTION of Korea 5 

CHAPTER I. — Foundation of the Japanese Empire. 

The first Emperor 7 

CHAPTER II.— Relations with Korea. Struggles with 

the native races. State of civilization . .11 

CHAPTER III.— The subjection of Korea . . 16 




CHAPTER IV.— The introduction of Chinese cul- 
ture into Japan. Economic progress of the 
nation . . . . . . . .21 

CHAPTER V.— The rebellion of Korea . . .24 




CHAPTER VI.— The beginnings of Buddhism in 

Japan . 26 

CHAPTER VII.— The regency of the Crown Prince 
Shokotu. Direct Intercourse with China. Further 
Introduction of Chinese culture and of Buddhism 30 

CHAPTER VIII.— The fall of the Soga Family . 33 






THE CAPITAL, KIOTO . . . . . -37 

CHAPTER I.— The Taika reforms . . . .39 
CHAPTER II.— The Ainu insurrection. End of 

Japanese rule in Korea. Continuation of reform 41 
CHAPTER III.— Reforms of the first Taiho year . 44 
CHAPTER IV.— The Seven Courts of Nara. Buddh- 
ism, Art and Learning . . . . -47 
CHAPTER V.— Foundation of the town of Kioto. 
The great period of learning and further pro- 
gress of Buddhism 51 



CHAPTER VI.— The increasing power of the 

Fujiwara 57 

CHAPTER VII.— Futile attempts to destroy the 
power of the Fujiwara. Art and learning of the 
period 59 



CHAPTER VIII.— The beginnings of the feudal 

system 61 

CHAPTER IX.— The Fujiwara family as guardians 
of the state. Japanese influence on Chinese 
civilization .64 



CHAPTER X. — Abolition of government by guardians 
of the Fujiwara Family, and Emperors who 
had abdicated. Growing power of the Taira and 
Minamoto 71 

CHAPTER XI.— Strife in the Imperial Family. 

Supremacy of the Taira and Minamoto . -74 

CHAPTER XII.— Hostility between the Taira and 

Minamoto 76 

CHAPTER XIII.— Supremacy and fall of the Taira . 78 





CHAPTER I. — Foundation of the Kamakura Shogun- 
ate by the Minamoto family. Their supremacy 
and their fall through the Hojo family . .85 

CHAPTER II.— Establishment of the supremacy 
of the Hojo Family. Faineant Shoguns and 
Skikken « .89 

CHAPTER III.— Repulse of Mongolian attempts at 

invasion 91 



CHAPTER IV.— Art, learning and religion at the 

time of the Kamakura Shogunate . . -93 

CHAPTER V.~ Division of the Imperial line. 

Abolition of the Shogunate . . . .96 




CHAPTER VI.— Reign and fall of Go-Daigo-Tenno 101 
CHAPTER VII.— Dynasties of the North and South 104 



CHAPTER VIIL— The Muromachi Shogunate . 109 
CHAPTER IX.— The disorders of the Onin years 

and the struggle for the supremacy of Kamakura 112 
CHAPTER X.— The age of Higashiyama. Art, 

literature and learning 116 

CHAPTER XL— The Heroic Age, (1478-1573) . 118 

CHAPTER XII.— Relations with foreign lands . 124 


THE ODA AND TOYOTOMI FAMILIES (1573-1598) . . 12 7 

CHAPTER XIII.— Oda Nobunaga . . . .129 
CHAPTER XIV.— The conquest and union of the 

whole Empire by Toyotomi-Hideyoshi . -133 
CHAPTER XV.— Toyotomi-Hideyoshi's foreign 

enterprises 137 

CHAPTER XVI.— The decisive battle between the 

Toyotomi and Tokugawa families. Victory of 

the Tokugawa family 140 





CHAPTER XVII.— Establishment of the Tokugawa 

Shogunate . . 145 

CHAPTER XVIII.— Bushido . . . .150 

CHAPTER XIX.— Relations with foreign countries 156 

CHAPTER XX.— Spread and suppression of Chris- 
tianity . . . . . . . .161 

CHAPTER XXL— The Reigns of Ieyasu's Successors. 
Flourishing state of art and learning. Beginning 
of economic progress . . . . .165 

CHAPTER XXII.— The most flourishing period of 

the Tokugawa Shogunate . . . . .169 

CHAPTER XXIIL— End of the great period of 

prosperity of the Tokugawa Shogunate . .172 

CHAPTER XXIV.— The awakening of a public 
opinion. Intellectual tendencies towards the 
revival of the Imperial power and the opening 
of the country to Europeans . . . .174 

CHAPTER XXV.— Conclusion of the first com- 
mercial treaty . . . . . . .178 

CHAPTER XXVI.— Fall of the Shogunate. Restora- 
tion of the Imperial power . . . . 1 84 


MEIJI 191 

CHAPTER I.— Beginning of the Meiji age . . 193 
CHAPTER II. — Reaction against the new system 

of government ....... 207 

CHAPTER III.— Introduction of constitutional 

government . . . . . . .213 



CHAPTER IV.— Relations of Japan with Russia and 

with Korea 218 

CHAPTER V.— The Chino-Japanese war . .222 

CHAPTER VI.— The revision of the commercial 

treaties 230* 

CHAPTER VII.— The Chinese troubles . . .232 

CHAPTER VIII.— The Russo-Japanese War . . 236 


i. Japanese Embassy Ship 

2. Ainu Family 

3. Ainu 

4. The Temple of Izumo-no-Oyashiro 

5. Suguwara Michizane, Chancellor 

of the Right .... 

6. Murasaki-Shikibu .... 

7. Taira Shigemori .... 

8. Battle of the Minamoto and 

9. Minamoto Yoritomo 

10. Mongolian Ship Attacked by 


11. Francesco Xavier, Founder of the 

Jesuit Settlements in Japan 

12. Oda Nobunaga and his Son 


13. toyotomi-hldeyoshi 


15. Fortress in Nagoga (Tokugawa 

Period) ,,146 

1 6. Imperial Official (Kuge) in Court 

Dress ,,150 



To face page 1 




















J 33 


J 33 





17. Samurai and his Servant — The 

Stirrup Cup . . 

18. Samurai in Ceremonial Dress 

19. Knights Exercising 

20. Korean Embassy . 

21. Jesuits in Japan . 
2 2. tokugawa yoshimune . 
23. Samurai at the End of the 

Tokugawa Period 

To face page 152 



Ainu Family 

Face p. 1] 

A History of Japan 



The Japanese are not indigenous to their land. They 
first came to their present home at the end of the 
bronze or the beginning of the iron age. 

Philological research decisively proves that the 
people who dwelt in the islands of Japan before the 
Japanese were the Ainus. Some attribute a 
Mongolian, others, especially European scholars like 
Balz and Chamberlain, a Caucasian origin to the 
Ainus. At the present time about 17,000 Ainus live 
on the island of Ezo. They form a contrast to the 
Japanese, for they are powerfully built, exceedingly 
hairy, and on a lower level of civilization. It is a 
question whether the numerous remains of the stone 
age found in almost every part of the Japanese islands 
are to be attributed to the ancestors of these Ainus, 
or to a people who inhabited the land prior to the 
Ainus. Most scholars, especially Professor Koganei, 
ascribe them to the Ainus The opposite view, how- 


ever, based on important grounds, is held by Professor 
Tsuboi of Tokio. He thinks that these ancient 
remains point to a people before the Ainus, who were 
related to the Eskimos and identical with the 
Korpogurus, 1 the race of dwarfs that according to the 
Ainu legends dwelt in the land before them. 

The origin of the Japanese is also much disputed. 
It is certain that a race of people related to the 
Koreans and Manchurians, who had progressed beyond 
the stone age, and used weapons made of metal, 
gradually invaded Japan from the continent through 
Korea. It is possible that these invaders had some 
Ainu blood in them. They clearly possessed marked 
Malay elements. Comparative philology divides the 
different Mongolian nations into two groups: those 
whose language is analytic, and those whose language 
is synthetic. The Japanese with the Koreans, 
Manchurians, Finns and Turks belong to the latter 
group. In any case they stand nearer it than the 
Chinese and Tibetans, whose language is analytic. 

The two most important sources of information for 
the ancient times of Japanese history are the Kojiki, i.e. 
chronicle of antiquity, and the Nihonshoki (abbrevi- 
ated to Nihongi) i.e. written annals of Japan. The 
Kojiki contains merely the genealogy of the imperial 
family, without any chronological information. The 
Nihongi forms a supplement to the Kojiki; it is 
arranged in the form of .annals after the Chinese 
model. The handwriting of the Kojiki is Japanese, 

1 Literally : people under the Indian plantain. 



while that of the Nihongi is Chinese. The former 
was written down in 712 A.D., the latter in 720 A.D., 
and both are by the same author. Even for a later 
time, we have only contemporary information to go 
on. For since the author, with the exception of 
scattered Chinese and Korean sources which he used 
for the Nihongi, found his material for the earlier 
time solely in tradition, his information about the 
very earliest period is most untrustworthy. Both 
works, however, have a semi-official character ; they 
were composed at the instigation of the Emperor, and 
thus caused the author purposely to falsify and 
invent in favour of the imperial dynasty. 

In the opinion of Professor Yonekichi Miyake 
authentic history begins with Suiko-Tenno (33rd 
Emperor 592 B.C. — 628 B.C.) and the period of the 
26th Emperor Keitai-Tenno (507 B.C. — 531 B.C.) stands 
out more clearly from the earlier legendary times, and 
may be compared with the dawn. It is not 
possible to make any sharp division between history 
and legend in those ancient times. Only the follow- 
ing facts can with certainty be regarded as historical 
for those early years : the unity of the imperial dynasty 
from the beginning of the Japanese state; wars 
with the savage races already settled in the islands ; 
wars with the Koreans and the temporary over- 
throw of their country, and as a result, the introduction 
of Chinese culture and civilization. But the ancient 
traditions of the early period are of sufficient interest 
for some account of them to be given here. 





The Temple of Izumo-no-oyashiro 

Face p. 7] 



ACCORDING to the legend, the Japanese islands were 
created by the god Izanagi-no-Mikoto and his wife 
Izanami-no-Mikoto. Their daughter, Amaterasu- 
Omikami, l the sun goddess, was charitable, virtuous 
and clever ; she taught men to cultivate the earth, to 
obtain silk and weave it in the loom. Her brother, 
Susa-noo-no-Mikoto, in contrast to her, was cruel and 
fierce. Therefore he was banished from Heaven to 
Izumo, a province on the island of Honto. 2 He built 
a house there, and married a beautiful girl who bore 
him a son named Okuninushi-no-Mikoto. He was 
kind, clever and brave ; he defeated all the frontier 
tribes and encouraged agriculture. When Amaterasu- 
Omikami sent an ambassador to demand the whole 
of his kingdom, he obeyed, and at once delivered up 
the land. He withdrew to the village of Kizuki in 
the province of Izumo and dwelt there till the end 

1 i.e. the divinity that shines down from Heaven. 
1 The principal island of Japan. 


of his days. There is a large temple, Izumo-no- 
oyashiro, in which he is still worshipped as a god. 

Amaterasu-Omikami, so the Nihongi relates, caused 
her grandson, Ninigi-no-Mikoto, to come down from 
heaven and spoke to him in these words : " Go to 
Japan where the meadows are green and fertile. 
Broad Japan shall be ruled by our descendants to 
all eternity, and our posterity shall endure forever 
like heaven and earth." She gave him Yada-no- 
Kagami, a mirror, Yasakani-no-Magatema, a precious 
stone, and Murakumo-no-Tsurugi, a sword with the 
words : " These insignia shall be symbols of the 
Imperial power, and the worthy palladia of our 
Empire. The mirror, especially, shall remind you 
of me." 

Ninigi-no-Mikoto took the insignia and accom- 
panied by many gods came down from Heaven to 
Hiuga, a province on the island of Kiusiu, and ruled 
there. After Ninigi-no-Mikoto came in succession : 
his son Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto, his grandson 
Ugayafukiaezu-no-Mikoto and his great-grandson 
Jimmu-Tenna, 1 Jimmu-Tenno is the actual founder 
of the Japanese Empire. 

The Emperor Jimmu lived in the province of 
Hiuga on the island of Kiusiu. One day he 
gathered together his family and his faithful adherents 
and said to them : * Many traitors and evil-doers live 

^enno is a Chinese word, Ten=heaven, 0=king; other 
epithets for the Japanese Emperor are e.g. Tenshi=son of 
heaven and Mikado (Mi=sublime, Kado gate, portal). 


in the east, and they oppress, rob, and plunder our 
good people. Therefore we must conquer them, and 
protect the good people." And he set out to do 
so with a powerful army and with his whole family. 
They went through the straits of Hayasui, and the 
inland sea of Seto to Naniwa ' and landed there, in 
order to pursue their march into the province of 
Yamato, which Nagasunehiko, the leader of the 
rebellion, was plundering. When Nagasunehiko 
heard of the approach of Jimmu-Tenno, he marched 
out to meet him, and a battle ensued on the mountain 
of Ikoma. In spite of great courage, the imperial 
army was defeated by the enemy. 

The Emperor's eldest brother was mortally 
wounded and soon died. Jimmu-Tenno therefore 
abandoned the plan of reaching Yamato by land, 
marched back to Naniwa, and took ship to Kii, the 
nearest province on the sea coast to Yamato. 
He landed there on the shores of Kuma-no-Ura. 
Michinoomi-no-Mikoto, a native of the place who 
was a faithful servant of the Emperor, showed him 
the way across the mountains thought to be im- 
passable. The imperial army conquered and 
brought into subjection all the rebels met on the 
way. When they reached Yamato, Nagasunehiko 
was murdered by his brother-in-law, Nigihayahi-no- 
Mikoto, a relative of the Emperor, who then put 
himself at the head of the army, and delivered it and 
the province of Yamato to the Emperor Jimmu. 

^ow Osaka. 


The neighbouring people of Tsuchikumo 1 were also 
soon brought into subjection. 

After the defeat of his enemies, Jimmu-Tenno built 
a large palace at the foot of the mountain Unebi, and 
ascended the throne, nth February, 660 B.C. 

Such is the legendary account of the origin of the 
Imperial dynasty, and the foundation of the Japanese 
Empire by Jimmu-Tenno. Jimmu's personality is 
equally legendary. But it is certain that from the 
earliest times about which we possess any historical 
information until the present day, only one dynasty 
has ruled over Japan, and that the Japanese Imperial 
family 3 is regarded as the oldest of all reigning 

Japanese chronology begins with nth February, 660 
B.C., 3 the day of Jimmu-Tenno's accession. 

1 Tsuchi— earth, Kumo Spider. They were so named 
because they lived in caves. 

9 Through the great importance attached to the family in 
Japan, family tradition plays a prominent part. An interrup- 
tion of the Imperial dynasty would have been an event of 
such importance that not even the vaguest tradition could 
have ignored it. 

8 The late Professor Naka believes that this date of the 
Nihongi should be put back about 660 years. 



Our sources give no information for the next 560 
years worthy of mention here. We find nothing of 
interest until the reign of the 10th Emperor Sujin 
(97-30 B.C.). 

Under Sujin-Tenno the Japanese government 
entered into relations with Korea. The state of 
Karak (Mimana) 1 in the south-east of the peninsula, 
so the narrative runs, was oppressed by the Korean 
state Sil-la (Shiraki), and asked help of Sujin-Tenno. 
In 33 B.C. he sent a small army to its aid under Shiono- 
ritsuhiko-no-Mikoto who was victorious over Sil-la. 
The army remained in Karak, and Japan soon 
regarded it as a right to keep an army there 
permanently, and to exercise a certain authority over 
the state. 

Besides, this successful enterprise in a foreign 
land, the old chroniclers tell of fierce battles fought in 

1 The Korean states are here given their Korean names : 
the Japanese names are given in brackets. 


their own land against the native races which had not 
been entirely subdued. 

In the southern part of the island of Kiusiu in the 
province of Osumi, dwelt a race called Kumaso on 
account of its barbarity. In the time of the 12th 
Emperor Keiko-Tenno (71-130 A.D.) that people 
rebelled against the Emperor. Keiko-Tenno at first 
put down the rebellion. But it broke out again, and 
he sent his son, Prince Yamatota-keru-no-Mikoto to 
quell it. He was then only 15 years old. When he 
arrived in the province of Osumi in order to do battle 
with the insubordinate people, their chief was 
arranging a ceremony for consecrating a new palace. 
Yamatotakeru-no-Mikoto put on girl's dress, and 
mingling with the girls, entered the hall where the 
festival was held. He assisted in pouring out the 
wine, and was taken for a beautiful waiting-maid. 
When the chief was sunk in sleep, the Prince drew 
out the sword that he had concealed under his 
garments, and stabbed him in the back with the words : 
" Know, traitor, that I am the son of Keik5-Tennd, 
and am come here to overthrow you." The chief 
replied : " I am the bravest man of the west country, 
but you are stronger than I am, spare me, and I will 
bestow on you the title of honour, Yamatotakeru-no- 
Mikoto." 1 But the prince preferred to kill him, and 
ever after, peace reigned in the land. 

Later the east was disturbed by the Ainus. 3 The 

1 i.e. the bravest man in Japan. 
a Or Ezo. 


rising spread as far as the plain of KantS. KeikS- 
Tenno again ordered his son Yamatotakeru-no- 
Mikoto to put it down. First the prince went to the 
temple in the province of Ise in order to pray and to 
take with him for his protection the sword belonging 
to the imperial insignia. Then he marched along 
the shore of the Eastern Sea to Suruga where a part 
of the rebels opposed him. As the prince came nearer, 
the enemy set fire to the thick prairie grass, in order 
to destroy his army. But when the prince was 
surrounded by the flames, he mowed the grass near 
him with his sword, 1 and immediately a high wind 
sprang up which blew towards the rebels so that they 
perished in the flames. The prince then marched to 
the nearest port in the province of Sagami, and with 
his army embarked for the opposite province of Kazusa. 
On the way a storm arose and his ship was in danger 
of sinking. His wife, the princess Tachibanahime, 
in great fear, prayed to the god of the sea to still the 
waves. But the god caused her to sink into the 
water and be drowned because she had doubted his 
goodness. Then the sea became calm, and the army 
were able to land on the shore of Kazusa. Thence it 
continued its march to Mutsu, the chief town of the 
Ainus. On its arrival, the rebels submitted to the 
victorious general who was now able to set out on his 
return. He reached the province of Omi by way of 
Kai, Shinano and Owari. There the mountains were 

1 From that time the sword was named Kusanagi, i,e, 


infested by robbers, and their capture was the 
prince's last deed. For immediately afterwards he 
was attacked by an illness to which he shortly suc- 
cumbed in the province of Ise. A temple was built 
in his honour in the province of Owari, which is 
now called Atsuta. The sword he had used in his 
last campaign was preserved there. 

But these deeds of Keiko-Tenno and Prince 
Yamatotakeru-no-Mikoto belong rather to legend 
than to authentic history. The one historical fact 
that stands out is that for a long period after the 
foundation of their empire by the imperial dynasty, 
the Japanese had to fight with savage tribes who con- 
tinually made fresh attempts to regain the liberty 
of which they had been deprived. 

Our sources record one reform of the nth 
Emperor, Suinin (29 B.C. to 70 A.D.) that has interest 
for the history of civilization. Until his reign it was 
the custom when a ruler died to bury alive with him 
a number of his servants, so that they might wait on 
him in the world beyond the grave. Suinin -Tenno 
made a strict law forbidding the custom for ever ; 
for the future, instead of living men, clay figures 
of men, birds and horses were to be placed in the 

Numerous excavations prove that the custom 
assigned by tradition to Suinin-Tenno was known to 
antiquity. It was usual also to place in the grave 
with the dead man the utensils he used daily, his 
jewels and his arms. Those objects form valuable 
historical documents for us, since we learn from them 


the conditions of civilization of the time. Men wore 
coats with tight sleeves and breeches, similar to 
European dress. 1 The materials were hemp or 
leather. The neck, chest, hands and loins were 
adorned with precious stones such as agates. The 
men bound up their hair like women. Great care was 
bestowed on the manufacture of arms ; they are 
of excellent workmanship ; iron swords, spears, arrow 
points and helmets have been found. The bows were 
made of wood, but have not been preserved. Great 
progress had already been made in the manufacture 
of pottery. 

1 These clothes were supplanted by Chinese dress, which 
later gave way again to Japanese fashions. 



ACCORDING to the Nihongi chronicle the Kumaso 
rose in rebellion again in the time of Chuai-Tenno, 
(192-200 A.D.). The Emperor, accompanied by his 
wife, Jingu-Kog5, marched out to subdue them. The 
Empress was convinced that the Kumaso were 
relying on the aid of the state of Sil-la in Korea, and 
wished to conquer that state first, for if it was once 
subdued, the Kumaso would soon cease to offer 
resistance. But the Emperor refused to follow her 
advice, and preferred to punish the rebellious people 
first. He could, however, do nothing against them ; 
he was wounded in the battle and died soon after. 
The Empress concealed his death, and took counsel 
with the minister, Takeuchi-no-Sukune, and they 
determined to attack Sil-la. 

At that time the peninsula of Korea consisted of 
four independent states, namely, Sil-la (Shiraki) in the 
south-east, Pak-je (Kudara) in the south-west, Ko-gu- 
ryu (Koma) in the north, and Karak (Mimana) situated 
between Pak-je and Sil-la. The earliest formation of 
states in Korea preceded the rise of the Japanese 
Empire. It goes back to the Chinese prince Ki-ja 


who founded the state of Chosun (Chosen) in the 
northern part of the peninsula in 11 20 with the 
capital Phyong-Yang (Heijo). There soon arose three 
states in the southern portion of the peninsula, namely 
Ma-han (Bakan), Chin-han (Shinkan) and Phon-han 
(Benkan). The three states together were called the 
three Han (Kan). 

Chin-han was conquered in 57 B.C. by the province 
named Sil-la and was thenceforward called Sil-la. 
Ma-han was conquered by Pak-je (18 B.C.) and 
received its name from that province, and in the same 
way Chosun was subdued by Ko-gu-ryu (37 B.C.) and 
was then called after that province. The three states 
together are called the Postsan-han (Kan). In the 
same way Pyon-chin was conquered by Karak, the 
smallest of the states. It is related that Karak put 
itself under the authority of Japan in the time of 

The Empress Jingu-Kogo assumed man's attire 
and with a large army went across the Genkai Sea 
and the Japanese Sea to Sil-la. The king of that 
state was taken by surprise and surrendered after a 
little fighting. He offered eighty ships filled with gold, 
silver and silk as tribute, and promised : " I will send 
the same number of ships laden with treasure every 
year as tribute. As long as the sun rises in the east 
and sets in the west, as long as the river Yalu does 
not flow up to the mountains from the sea, I will not 
omit to pay the tribute." And so the Empress 
returned to Japan with great booty. When she 
landed in the province of Tsukushi, which is situated 


in the north of the island of Kiusiu, she bore a son, 
the future Ojin-Tenno (200 A.D.) Very soon after- 
wards the King of Pak-je submitted and paid tribute 
and the King of Ko-gu-ryu followed suit. 

This account in the Nihongi of the campaign of 
the Empress Jingii-Kogo in Korea must certainly be 
regarded as legendary. But it is stated in Korean 
sources that there were at that time many fierce 
battles between Japanese and Koreans in which 
the Japanese gained the upper hand, and became 
rulers of the peninsula. We can therefore draw 
conclusions as to the power of the Japanese Empire 
and its dynasty at that time. 

Japan was able to maintain its authority over 
Korea amid many fierce and not always successful 
battles, at least in some degree, until 668 A.D. 

The conquest of Korea was a very important event 
for the Japanese people. Through Korea Japan 
came into relations with the highly developed 
civilization of China, a circumstance that had im- 
portant influence in the evolution of Japanese 





Chinese writing and literature penetrated into 
Japan from Korea. 

According to the Nihongi chronicle, the scholars 
Achiki and Wani came from PaT?Je7~ Wani brought 
with him the Bible of Confucius, called Rongo, and 
the poem Senjimon, i.e., the poem of a thousand 
letters, and gave it to Ojin-Tenno (201-310 A.D.). 
He received the two men kindly and bade them 
instruct the crown prince, Uji-no-Wakairatsuko, in 
Chinese literature. Later, a Chinaman named Achi- 
no-mi, came to Japan with many of his countrymen, 
and settled in the provinces of Kawachi and Yamato. 
These Chinese and Koreans and their descendants for 
many generations were clerks and secretaries in 
the service of the Japanese government. The 
economic life of Japan made great progress under 
Chinese influence. Chinese architecture was adopted 
from Korea, and also the production of Saki from 
rice. Chinese weavers and tailors soon came into the 
land and taught their industries to the Japanese. 


Chinese influence doubtless improved the condition 
of the Japanese people and made for progress in their 
economic life. Tradition points at this period to the 
popular and happy reigns of a Nintoku-Tenno and 

The Nihongi relates that the Emperor Ojin pre- 
ferred his youngest son, Vji-no-Wakairatsuko to all 
his other children and made him crown prince in- 
stead of his eldest son, Nintoku. When on the death 
of his father, VVakairatsuko prepared to ascend the 
throne of his ancestors, his elder brother opposed him 
and won the support of the people. Wakairatsuko 
who soon saw that he would not be able to establish 
his claim, committed suicide. Filled with grief for 
his brother's fate, Nintoku-Tenn5 ascended the throne 
of his fathers and reigned with wisdom and mercy 
(313-399 A.D.). He restored the palace at Naniwa. 
When he became acquainted with the poverty of the 
people, he had pity on them and exempted them 
from the payment of taxes for three years. And so 
it happened that the Emperor became poor and could 
not repair the walls and roof of his palace. But he 
thought only of the welfare of his subjects, and when 
the Empress complained of their poverty, replied : " I 
feel joy and sorrow with my people, if they become 
richer then also shall I become richer." 

It is told that the Emperor Yuriaku (457-479 a.d), 
sent ambassadors to the south of China, and had 
women weavers and tailors brought thence that they 
might teach the Japanese their industries. And the 
Japanese began to weave brocade and silk damask 


and to do artistic embroidery. The Empress herself 
bred silk-worms as an example for the people. The 
Emperor encouraged the immigration of makers of 
porcelain, potters, and coiners from Pak-je. The 
Japanese proved apt pupils, and Chinese fashions in 
architecture and industrial arts made great progress 
in the land. 



In the time of the 21st Emperor, Yuriaku, a 
Japanese commander in Karak on the peninsula of 
Korea, named Kibi-no-Tasa, allied himself with the 
King of Sil-la. He was really a vassal of the Japanese 
Empire, but he had great power at his command, and 
strove after independence. At first the Emperor 
wished to proceed there in person and punish the 
traitor, but by the request and advice of his 
councillors he gave up the plan, and commanded his 
general, Ki-no-Oyumi, to undertake the campaign. He 
had little success and fell in battle. 

During the reign of the 23rd Emperor, Kenzo- 
Tenno (485-487 A.D.), Oiwa, the son of the Japanese 
general, Ki-no-Oyumi, revolted in Korea. He wished 
to make himself king over the three Han, and con- 
spired with the King of Ko-gu-ryu. But the army of 
the state of Pak-je which remained loyal, attacked 
him and compelled him to flee to the north. 

Later, under the 26th Emperor, Keitai (507-531 
A.D.), the state of Karak revolted when at the wish of 
the King of Pak-je, the Chancellor Otomo-no- 


Kanamura agreed to surrender a part of Karak. Soon 
after, the King of Sil-la allied himself with a Japanese 
Kuni-no-miyatsuko * named Iwai and conquered a 
part of Karak. The Emperor commanded his general, 
Mononobe-no-Arakahi, to destroy Iwai and then 
to subdue Sil-la. 

In the time of the 29th Emperor, Kimmei (540-571 
A.D.), Sil-la undertook an invasion of Pak-je. Seimei-o, 
king of that province, fell in battle. Sil-la's troops 
went against Karak, and drove out the Japanese 
commander (562 A.D.). The Emperor sent an army 
against Sil-la, but it was defeated in a fierce battle. 
Karak was now completely subdued by Sil-la, and the 
Japanese rule was not again restored there. The 
Japanese authority was maintained only in Pak-je 
and Ko-gu-ryu. 

In spite, however, of all the blood spilled by Japan 
in upholding its power in Korea, and the decrease of 
that power, the march of civilization induced by the 
conquest of that land, continued its steady progress. 
It showed itself especially in that the religion pre- 
vailing on the continent was introduced into Japan. 

We have already mentioned in the introduction that 
from about the time of the 26th Emperor, the matter 
of our sources becomes more trustworthy, and that 
from the reign of Suiko-Tenno, we have real authentic 
history. The information about the introduction of 
Buddhism into Japan may be regarded as absolutely 

1 Overseer of a province. 



THE Japanese, like the Aryan races, in the beginning 
worshipped the forces of nature as divine beings, e.g. 
the sun as Amaterasu-Omikami, who was regarded as 
the mother from whom the imperial family sprang. 
Side by side with the worship of the forces of nature 
was the worship of ancestors. Ancestor-worship is 
closely connected with the important position occupied 
by the head of the family among the ancient Japanese. 
After his death the father of the family enjoyed divine 
honours. Each family regarded its own ancestors as 
gods, and all the Japanese worshipped the dead 
Emperor and various heroes as gods. Every year a 
festival was celebrated in honour of the ancestors. It 
was believed that on that day the ancestors came 
down into the houses of their descendants and wandered 
about among them. The people bathed, and put on 
their best garments on that day, kindled lights, placed 
food for the ancestors and devoted the day to their 

Buddhism came into successful rivalry with this 
ancient Kami-worship, l but the old religious views 
1 Kami = ancestors. 


were never entirely suppressed. Buddhism indeed 
was comparatively tolerant to them. At the present 
time the old ancestor-worship is continued in the so- 
called Shintoism, which experienced a revival in the 
1 8th century on the awakening of imperialist 

In the time of the Emperor Keita, a Chinese 
named Shiba-Tatto brought an image of Buddha 
with him, and settled in Japan. But he was not able 
to convert any Japanese to his faith. 

In 552 A.D., Kimmei-Tenno, the King of Pak-je sent 
over the image of Buddha and sacred Buddhist books. 
The Emperor asked his two highest officers of state, 
O-omi and O-muraji, whether Buddha should be 
believed in or not. 

Now bitter enmity prevailed between O-omi and 
O-muraji, the heads of two rival groups of families. 
O-omi (i.e. Great Omi) was chief of the Omi family 
to which Soga, Heguri, and Katsuragi belonged. 
They were descended from the family of the Takeuchi, 
who with the Empress Jingu-Kogo had subdued 
Korea. They possessed by inheritance one of the two 
offices of chancellor. The two Muraji families, the 
Mononobe and Nakatomi possessed the other, and so 
they each strove for the chief power in the Empire. 
The attitude of the two high officials towards Buddhism 
corresponded to the enmity between the two families. 
O-omi, named Soga-no-Iname, made this reply to 
the Emperor's question : " Buddhism is a sublime 
spiritual religion, and therefore all cizilized peoples 
accept it." O-Muraji, named Mononobe-no-Okoshi, 


replied on the contrary : " We shall remain true to 
our old religion, otherwise the gods will chastise us." 
The Emperor delivered the image and the sacred 
books to O-omi, and said : " You, only, believe in 
him, and leave the people to their old faith." Soga- 
no-Iname rejoiced over those words, pulled down 
his house and on its site built a temple to Buddha 
in which he worshipped him every day. 

Soon after the plague broke out, and Mononobe- 
no-Okoshi assured the Emperor that it was a 
punishment sent by the gods for O-omi's conversion 
to the new religion. With the Emperor's permission 
he burnt O-omi's temple, and threw the image of 
Bhudda into the pond Naniwa in the province of 
Yamato. Henceforth the enmity between the two 
families was greatly increased ; it was inherited by 
their sons and by all the families related to them and 
their vassals. The army, also, which gave allegiance 
to both families, divided into two parties, and at last 
things went so far that Moriya, the son of Mononobe- 
no-Okoshi, and Umako, the son of Soga-no-Iname 
made war on each other. The Mononobe family was 
conquered in a fierce battle, and entirely destroyed 
by the Soga family which adhered to Buddhism. 
The holding of high office of any O-Muraji was 
made impossible for ever by the destruction of the 
Mononobe. This happened in the reign of Jomei- 
Tenn5 (585-587 A.D.). Religion had not been the 
principal cause of the fighting. Peace could not have 
lasted long between the two powerful officials, O-omi 
and O-Muraji. A decisive battle between them was 


inevitable. The religious question which had then 
become acute was mingled with the rivalry of the two 
high officials. The Soga family who had declared in 
favour of the new religion were the conquerors. 
Thus Buddhism would be accepted in the official class. 






After the murder of the Emperor Sushun (587-592 
A.D.) by the chancellor, Umako, his sister, Suiko- 
Tenno (592-628 A.D.) ascended the throne as first 
Empress. The crown prince, later called Shotoku, 1 
conducted the government for her as regent. He was an 
enlightened adherent of Chinese culture. He tried to 
promote learning in Japan through alliance with China. 
He began to form the administration of home affairs 
on the Chinese model. He decreed that the officials 
should wear a uniform, which should distinguish 
them from the common people, and also mark their 
rank, and tried to awake in them a strict consciousness 
of duty. The 17 articles dealing with morals issued 
by him under the title of " Constitution " were 
especially directed to the official class. 

1 During his life-time his name was Umayadono-Oji or 
Toyoto Mimi. Shotoku-Taishi is his posthumous title of 
honour, and means the greatly wise and virtuous crown prince. 


The introduction of the Chinese calendar was also 
due to him. 

He sent a Japanese ambassador to the Chinese 
Emperor to deliver a letter in which he invited friendly 
intercourse between the two nations. The am- 
bassador was accompanied by a number of Japanese 
students. At that time, 589-617 A.D., the Sui dynasty 
was reigning in China. Under it art, learning and 
politics made great progress, and reached their zenith 
under the Tang dynasty (618-906). As those 
Japanese remained in China until that period, all the 
great results of Chinese culture were made directly 
accessible to Japan. The Emperor of China on his 
part sent an ambassador with a reply to the Empress 
(607 A.D.). Such was the first official political act 
between the two states, although private intercourse 
had already prevailed for a long time. 

Shotoku-Taishi embraced the Buddhist religion, 
and built many temples to Buddha, especially the 
Temples of Horiuji 1 and Shitennoji, which are 
preserved to this day. 

Professor C. Ito has devoted a careful study to the 
architecture of the temple of Horiuji. He finds the 
Indian, Chinese and Greek styles in the building. 
The pillars of the outer gate are partly Doric, other 
parts, for example the roof, the windows and the 
galleries, are Chinese, while the interior is Indian in 
style. It is recognised that under Alexander the 
Great, Greek culture penetrated to India (327 B.C.), 

1 Ji = Buddhist Temple. 


and it must be admitted that Indian art when it was 
introduced into China possessed Greek elements. 
The Temple of H5riuji offers a rich field for the 
history of Japanese art. It contains many statues of 
Buddha, some in wax, others in bronze, or carved in 
wood. The style is called after the temple, the 
Horiuji style, or after its creator, the Tori style. The 
walls of the temple are decorated with large portraits 
of Buddha. They were painted by the Buddhist 
priest, Doncho of Korea, who first introduced painters' 
colours, paper and Indian ink into Japan. The 
temple also contained embroideries on silk, Buddhist 
vessels and Chinese musical instruments which belong 
to that period. 



Chinese civilization soon got a strong hold in the 
Japanese islands. The industrial and intellectual life 
of the Japanese people already bore its mark, and 
Buddhism steadily gained ground. But there was 
one fundamental difference between Japan and China, 
and that lay in the system of government of 
each state. In China an admirable system of 
administration had been developed, carried out in an 
almost modern fashion by a class of officials who, now, 
at the beginning of the brilliant epoch of the Tang 
dynasty won universal admiration. In Japan, on the 
contrary, the old patriarchal system of government 
still prevailed. 

It must therefore be pointed out what an important 
part the family (Uji) played in the life of the Japanese 
nation. The Japanese family stood in intimate relation 
with the father of the family. The eldest son inherited 
the position of father of the family, and he possessed 
the same power over the families of his brothers and 
sisters as over his own children. So there was close 
interdependence among individual families, and 



family dependence and membership was of the 
greatest importance. The family which possessed the 
greatest number of kinsfolk possessed also the 
greatest power in the state. ^The most powerful 
families had hereditary rights to the highest offices. 
As the Emperor held his power through his birth and 
the position of his family, so the chancellors, the 
highest officials and the governors of the provinces 
held their offices through their birth and their 
families. 1 They did not owe their offices to the favour 
of the Emperor, they inherited them as the property 
of their family. 

It can be gathered from this how little real power 
the Emperor had in the administration of his empire. 
The powerful family of the Soga, especially after the 
destruction of their rivals, the Mononobe, succeeded 
in gaining such a strong position that it could 
venture to defy the imperial family and even to 
strive after the imperial dignity. The more 
oppressively powerful the position of this family 
became, the more did the friends and representatives 
of the imperial dynasty feel that the government of 
the Japanese state must be reformed after the Chinese 

The crown prince Shotoku died before he succeeded 
to the throne. Shortly after, the chancellor, Soga-no- 

1 There were 3 classes of families : 1. The Kobetsu, families 
of the imperial race. To those belonged e.g. the Soga. 
2. The Shimbetsu, families of the Emperor's vassals. To 
those belonged e.g. the Nakatomi. 3. The Hambetsu, the 
families of Chinese and Korean immigrants. 


Umako, who had been a champion of Buddhism also 
died. His son, Emishi, inherited his office. He 
arrogated to himself more independence than his 
father had had, and appointed his son Iruka to sit in 
office with him without the Emperor's permission. 
Iruka was cruel, and more arrogant and overbearing 
than his father. He designated his son by the title of 
prince and called his house the imperial court. At last 
he set aside the sons of the crown prince Shotoku with 
their families, and thought thereby to destroy the 
imperial dynasty for ever. 

But there was a noble at the imperial court, by 
name Nakatomi-no-Kamatari, who was faithful to 
the imperial family and sought to bring about 
the downfall of the Soga family. For that purpose . 
he took counsel with the wise prince, Naka- $ 
no-oe-Oji, and they decided on the murder of the 
arrogant chancellor. It was not merely an act of 
vengeance, a great political idea was allied with it : to 
administer the government of the Japanese Empire 
on the Chinese pattern. Both had studied the Chinese 
form of government, and had long had it in mind to 
introduce into Japan a number of ministers and 
officials as was the case in China. To carry out the 
plan, it was first necessary to destroy the Soga family. 

During the festival at which the Korean 
ambassadors offered tribute to Kogioku-Tenn6 (642- 
645 A.D.), they murdered the Chancellor Iruka at the 
feet of the Empress, and had his palace surrounded 
by their faithful adherents. Emishi, surprised, burnt 
all the treasures and documents of the state, among 


them the oldest historical works of Japan. 1 Then he, 
together with the remaining members of his family, 
sought death in the flames (645 A.D.). 

With the fall of the Soga family the last obstacle to 
the complete adoption of Chinese civilisation was 
removed. The government of the Japanese empire 
could now be modelled on the Chinese plan, and in 
place of the old patriarchal government arose a much 
more modern system. 

1 The Tenno-ki and the Koku-ki which were written before the 
Nihongi in 720. The Kuji-ki which was long regarded as a part 
of the Koku-ki that had been preserved, is a later forgery. 







SOON after the violent end of the arrogant Chancellor 
and his family, the Empress abdicated in favour of 
her brother, who ascended the throne as Kotoku- 
Tenno (645-654 A.D.J. He immediately gave the 
chief authors of the great revolution, Prince Naka- 
no-oe-Oji and Nakatomi-no-Kamatori, an important 
part in the management of the administration. He 
also appointed as his advisers Takamuko-no- 
Kuromaro and Sobin, two men who had lived in 
China for a long time and were intimately acquainted 
with Chinese literature, and especially with the 
political administrative conditions of that country; 
with their aid he began to reform the government 
and administration of his Empire according to the 
Chinese model. The great significance of the reform 
received outward expression by the introduction of 
the Chinese custom of giving a name to the years, 
and so those years were called Taika, i.e. great 

Instead of the high officers of state who owed their 
dignities to family descent, officials were now 


appointed whose posts were not hereditary. The great 
plenipotentiaries in the provinces were set aside, and 
replaced by governors who were immediately de- 
pendent on the crown, and were changed every four 
years, so that they might not seek after independent 
power. Every province was declared to be the 
property of the Emperor, and all inhabitants the 
subjects of the crown ; they had no longer to pay the 
taxes to the governor of the province, but direct to. 
the state itself. The officials, unlike the former 
plenipotentiaries, received a salary. According to a 
census taken at that time, every man received two 
Tan ' of rice-fields, and every woman two-thirds 
of a Tan. On the death of the owner the land was 
to go back to the government. Every man had to 
pay a fixed annual tribute of rice, each family an 
annual tax of part of the produce of their land 
according to its extent, e.g. fruit, silk, or fish. Every 
man between 20 and 50 years of age was obliged to 
work 10 days in each year for the government, but 
he could get exemption from that duty by paying in 
kind. The Emperor made roads and kept post 
horses in the towns and villages in order to facilitate 
communication with the provinces, and to preserve 
better control over the administration. 

1 A Tan = about 1200 square yards of land. 



After the death of Kotoku-Tenno, his sister, 
Kogioku-Tenno, ascended the throne for the second 
time under the name of Saimei-Tenno (655-661 A.D.). 
The crown prince Naka-no-oe-Oji assisted her in the 
execution of her duties without assuming the imperial 

At that time there was an insurrection of the Ainus. 
The Empress commissioned the general, Abe-no- 
Hirafu to put it down, and he succeeded in accom- 
plishing the difficult task. The Mishihase or 
Makkatsu who also rebelled soon after were subdued 
by him. But the government were not able to cope 
with the disturbance in Korea which through the en- 
croachment of China now entered on a new phase. 

For the last hundred years there had been con- 
tinual fighting between the states of the peninsula of 
Korea. As related above, Sil-la had fallen off from 
Japan, and submitted to the province of Karak. Only 
Pak-je and Ko-gu-ryu recognised the authority of 
Japan. When at this time Sil-la again fought with 


Pak-je, it asked help of the imperial dynasty, Tang, in 
China. Chinese troops joined with the army of Sil-la 
and invaded Pak-je. The auxiliary troops sent by 
Japan defeated the Chinese army after severe righting. 
Saimei-Tenno died at that. time, and the crown prince, 
Naka-no-oe-Oji ascended the throne as Tenji-Tenno 
(668-671 A.D.). As the Chinese now succeeded in 
subduing Ko-gu-ryu, and so bringing the whole of the 
peninsula under their rule, Tenji-Tenno gave up re- 
sistance. Sil-la gained all the conquered territory, but 
was compelled to recognise Chinese supremacy (66$ 
A.D.). So ended Japanese rule in Korea. It had 
cost Japan much blood without bringing any lasting 
political advantage. Its chief importance lies in its 
influence on civilization. 

Tenji-Tenno made the town of Shiga on the banks 
of the lake of Biwa in the province of Omi his place 
of residence. With exceeding energy he continued 
the task of reforming domestic administration. He 
founded schools, and enacted that a census of the 
people should be taken regularly every five years, and 
made many other laws and decrees. On that account 
he was called the " Restorer." 

Under Tenji-Tenno, Nakatomino-Kamatari, the 
man who had played so important a part in the 
destruction of the Soga and in the new reforms, en- 
joyed great honour. He was Tenji-TennS's right hand 
and confidential minister. When he was dangerously 
ill, the Emperor visited him at his own house, and 
bestowed on him the title of Taishokukan, which 
signified great distinction, and the family name of 


Fujiwara. After Kamatari's death the temple of 
T<5-no-mine was built in his honour, in which, even 
to-day, divine honours are paid him. Hence came 
the rise of the Fujiwara family which later played so 
important a part. 

Tenji-Tenno was succeeded by his son K$bun- 
TennS (672 A.D.). But after three months he was 
attacked by Prince Oama, Tenji-Tenno's brother, a 
personal enemy of Tenji-Tenno, at the head of a large 
army, and therefore committed suicide. Oama as- 
cended the throne under the title of Temmu-Tenno 
(672-686 A.D.). Although hitherto hostile to Tenji- 
TennS he accepted his reforms, and to some extent 
carried them further. 



A SECOND epoch of reform was inaugurated by the 
reign of the 42nd Emperor, Mommu (696-707 A.D.), 
the grandson of Temmu-Tenno. Under his rule, 
Prince Osakabe and the minister, Fujiwara Fubito, 
son of the famous minister, Kamatari, in the first 
Taiho year added a number of laws and decrees after 
the Chinese model to the reforms of Koto-ku-Kuno 
and Tenji-Tenno (701 A.D.), reforms which, except for 
slight changes, remained valid until modern times. 

According to this new arrangement the two Kan, 
Jingikan and Dajokan formed the central points of 
the government. The care of the ancient religious 
belief and ancestor-worship was entrusted to the 
Jingikan. The Dajokan consisted of a group of three 
persons, namely, the Chief Chancellor (Dajodaijin) the 
Chancellor of the Left (Sadajin^), and the Chancellor 
of the Right (Udaijin). They were assisted by eight 
ministers, viz., Nakatsukasa, the chief minister, whose 
duty was to write down and proclaim all the edicts of 
the Emperor ; Shikibu, who was master of the cere- 
monies and minister of public worship and instruction ; 


Jibu, overseer of the officials working in the provinces ; 
Minbu, minister of commerce and agriculture ; Hi5bu, 
minister of war ; Kiobu, minister of justice ; Okura, 
minister of finance; and Kunai, minister of buildings 
and works in the imperial palace. The Dajokan were 
also assisted by the Dainagon, 1 who lived in close 
attendance on the Emperor as advisers and monitors ; 
and the Dainagon were again assisted by the Shon- 
agon. 9 Later on the Dainagon succeeded in making 
their close relations with the Emperor of great im- 
portance. Together with the Chunagon, 8 they formed 
a council called Sangi. 

The capital was divided into two districts. The 
Ki5shiki stood at the head of each of those districts, 
and the Kokuji at the head of the provinces, below 
them came the Gunji. Those officials, as stated above, 
were changed every four years. The province of 
Tsukushi, in the north of the island of Kiusiu which 
was of especial importance for the defence of the 
frontier against China and Korea, was administered 
by a council, " Dazaifu," which besides the duties of 
a prefect had also military powers for the purpose of 
securing the safety of the frontier. The province of 
Settsu with the important port of Naniwa fnow 
Osaka) was administered by a Settsu-shiki which also 
had to look after the building of ships and the carry- 
ing on of trade. 

1 Dai = great, Nagon = monitor. 
9 Sho = small. 
8 Chu = middle. 


There was a university in the capital and a school 
in each province. The imperial guard was quartered 
in the capital and an army corps was kept in each 

The criminal code contained five different penalties : 
flogging with the whip ; flogging with the stick ; 
banishment to another province ; banishment to a 
distant island ; and death. 

The carrying out of these reforms on the Chinese 
model cut so deeply into the old conditions of 
government that an admirable modern state was 
created out of the old patriarchal form of government. 

The great political progress, the formation of a 
complicated official system and the relations into 
which the state had entered with China, demanded a 
permanent seat of government which had hitherto 
been lacking. It had been the custom to change the 
seat of government with almost every new sovereign. 
But there was soon to be an end of that system. 



Mommu-Tenno left a son who was a minor, and so 
his mother ascended the throne in his place under the 
name of Gemmi5-Tenno (707-715 A.D.). She built a 
palace in the Chinese style at Nara, and placed the 
seat of government there, and seven Emperors resided 
there one after the other : Gemmio, Gensho 
(715-724 A.D.), Shomu (724-749), Koken (749"758), 
Junnin (758-764), ShStoku (764-769), and Konin 
(769-781 A.D.). This period of the history of Japan 
is called "the seven courts of Nara," a time when 
Chinese influence held full sway. 

Gemmio-Tenno was the first to introduce bronze 
coinage into Japan, and as in China, each coin had a 
square hole in the middle. 

To her also we owe the earliest source of Japanese 
history that has come down to us. She ordered the 
Kojiki to be written down by a nobleman at the 
court, named O-no-Yasumaro, and it was finished in 
722. It covers the period from the beginning of 
Japanese history to the time of the Empress Suiko 
(592-628 A.D.). It was based on the oral statements 


of Hieda-no-Ares, an imperial vassal who owed his 
information to Temmu-Tenno. By her order, also, a 
topographical description of the provinces, called 
Fudoki, was made. During the reign of the next 
Empress, Gensh5-Tenno, O-no-Yasumaro, at the 
invitation of Prince Toneri, wrote the annals called 
Nihon Shoki, which are based on Chinese sources and 
cover the period from the origin of the Japanese 
Empire to Jid5-Tenno (690-696 A.D.). 

Chinese influence, which entirely prevailed at this 
era, greatly furthered the spread of Buddhism. Shomu- 
Tenno, (724-749 A.D.), the successor of Gensho-Tenno, 
and also his wife, Komio-kogo, the daughter of the 
minister, Fubito, and so the first Empress not of im- 
perial descent, were ardent adherents of the new 
religion. The Buddhist priesthood now began to 
appear at court. The Emperor regarded himself as a 
Buddhist monk, and called himself a servant of 
Buddha, a servant of the Buddhist priests and of the 
Buddhist doctrine. The Empress, from a sense of 
piety, founded a workhouse and a hospital. The 
Emperor built many Buddhist temples in Nara, and 
ordered two temples to be erected in each province, 
one for priests, and the other for priestesses. 

The Buddhist priests, whose number increased with 
extraordinary rapidity, soon acquired great secular 
power. Many of them wholly abandoned their 
religious ideals, and gave themselves up to worldly 
interests. One of them named Dokio became the 
favourite of the Empress Koken, and succeeded in 
attaining great power at court. If he did not actually 


possess the title of Chief Chancellor, he was the 
real leader of the government. His ambition even 
soared as high as the imperial dignity itself. Wake- 
no-Kiyomaro, who warned the Empress of the priest's 
plans, was banished from the court for his information, 
and only after the death of the Empress was Dokid 
exiled for life to the province of Shimozuke by her 

The most important of the Buddhist temples of that 
time was Todaiji in Nara. It is famous for its 
enormous gold and bronze bust of Buddha, over 48 
feet high, called Nara-no-Daibutsu. There only 
remains of the ancient temple a subsidiary building 
called Shosoin in which were preserved a number 
ofN^ld paintings, woven stuffs, silk embroideries, 
musical instruments, gold, silver and ivory vessels and 
cups belonging to the imperial family. The objects 
prove the height to which art had risen at that time. 
The style of the art of the period is called the Tempio 
style after the name of the years in which it flourished 

Distinguished scholars and authors belong also to 
that epoch. We may mention here Abe-no-Nakamaro 
and Kibi-no-Makibi, who had lived a long time in 
China, and were acquainted with Chinese writers like 
Rihaku and Toho. Nakamaro, at the request of 
the Emperor of China, remained in China till his 
death. Kibi-no-Makibi returned to Japan after 19 
years absence, and became tutor to the Empress 
Koken, the daughter of Shomu-Tenn5 and later 
Chancellor of the Right. He invented the Japanese 
syllabic writing, consisting of 50 letters arranged in 



tabular form, known as the Katakana. 1 The form is 
essentially influenced by the Sanskrit. Celebrated 
song- writers were Kakino-moto-no-Hitomaro and 
Yamabe-no-Akahito, etc. The most important 
collection of songs of that epoch is the Mannioshu. 

1 Kata = the halves, i.e. Makibi used halves of Chinese signs 
for representing the Japanese syllables. Kana = equivalent 





The 50th Emperor Kammu (781-806 A.D.), the 
successor of KSnin, was not satisfied with Nara as 
a place of residence. He laid out a large, regular, 
modern city on the plan of Chang-an, the capital 
of the Chinese Empire and named it Heiankio, i.e., 
the town of peace. Later on it was named only 
Kioto, i.e., Metropolis. It continued to be the residence 
of the Emperor until 1869. 

From the time of Gemmio-Tenno, the Ainu tribes 
had been in a continual state of rebellion. All at- 
tempts to subdue them permanently had failed. 
Kammu-Tenn5 now sent the famous General Saka- 
none-no-Tamuramaro against them. He was a severe 
but just and well-meaning man. The strictest discip- 
line prevailed in his army which was entirely devoted 
to him. After a long struggle he succeeded in 
subduing the Ainus for ever. 

Shortly after the death of Kammu-Tenno disputes 
arose about the succession. Heijei-Tenno, who suc- 
ceeded him (806-809), soon abdicated, and his brother 


Saga-Tenno (809-823) ascended the throne. But 
Kusuko the favourite wife of Heijei-Tenn5 quarrelled 
with Saga-Tenno. She and her brother were the 
leaders of a conspiracy, the aim of which was to thrust 
Saga-Tenn5 from the throne, and to restore Heijei- 
Tenno. The conspiracy was discovered. Kusuko 
committed suicide, and her brother was executed. 

In order to prevent such events in the future, 
the Emperor instituted a guard of police for the 
capital, and placed a body-guard about his own 
person, the Kebiishi. 

This Emperor erected a building called Kurododo- 
koro for the preservation of documents of state. He 
revised the laws and ordinances of the Taihorio. 

He was a very learned man and practised the 
rare and highly esteemed art of writing. 1 He 
was also the author of valuable works ; he encouraged 
learning and the arts, and they made great progress 
in his reign. 

Besides the university in the capital, and the schools 
in the provinces, there were many private schools for 
the nobility, e.g., the school Gakkanin for the Tachi- 
bana family, Kangakuin for the Fujiwara family, 
Shogakuin for the imperial family. Among the 
celebrated scholars of the time Miyako-no-Yoshika, 
Omi-no-Mifune and Ono-no-Takamura deserve 

1 Besides the Emperor there were at that time only two men 
who could write, Kukai and Tachiba-na-no-Hayanari, whose 
writing was for a long time typical. The three men were 
called Sampitsu (Sam = three, Hitsu or Pitsu = caligraphers). 


Saicho and Kukai were the most distinguished of 
the Buddhist priests. Saicho was with the Japanese 
embassy to China for about a year, and on his return 
introduced into Japan the teaching of the Tendai, a 
sect widely spread through China which strove to 
raise the position of the priesthood both spiritually 
and morally. After his death he received the title 
of Dengio-Daishi. The temple built by him on the 
hill of Hiei was the principal temple of his sect. 
Kukai also went to China. On his return to Japan 
he spread the teaching of the Shingonshu, 1 and built 
a temple on the summit of the hill Koya called Kon- 
gobuji. Both men were distinguished for their wide 
culture and learning. Among other things Kukai im- 
proved the Japanese syllabic writing and arranged 
it in alphabetical form. Kukai's 47 letters are called 
Hirakana. After his death he received the title of 
honour, Kobo Daishi. 

The spread of Buddhism in Japan was greatly pro- 
moted by these two men, and especially through their 
toleration. They tried to reconcile Buddhism with 
the old Japanese faith in gods, and in ancestor-worship. 
They did not desire that the ancient faith should be 
discarded, and were content that Buddha should be 
worshipped side by side with the old gods, as an 
equally privileged god. And so it often happened 
at that period that a temple of the old Kami worship 
was joined to a Buddhist temple. The imperial court 
where many converts were made to Buddhism cele- 
brated a Buddhist service. 

1 Shu = Sect. 





The leading idea in the political reforms of the 
Taika years had been to secure the Emperor powerful 
influence through the right of appointing and dis- 
missing officials. But in spite of the fact that these 
reforms greatly changed the ancient procedure, 
hereditary and family rights and privileges played 
so large a part in Japan, that new independent power 
arose. High officials succeeded in securing their 
posts to members of their family ; in fact appointment 
to office was not made for personal qualifications but 
on account of family descent. Thus the family of 
Nakatomi-no-Kamatari on whom Tenji-Tenno had 
bestowed the title of honour of Fujiwara, attained to 
very great power, and its members were continually 
appointed to the highest offices, and the proceeding 
caused many disputes and disturbances in the imperial 
family. Yoshifusa, the daughter of the minister 
Fujiwara, was the wife of Prince Michiyasu 1 and 
became Empress at his accession, a fact of great 
importance to the Fujiwara family. Through this con - 

1 After his accession he was called Montoku-Tenno. 


nection with the imperial family, the Fujiwara secured 
the precedence of all the rest of the rival families. 
For future Emperors would be of their blood. 

The son of the Empress belonging to the Fujiwara, 
was only 9 years old when, as Seiwa-Tenno (858-876) 
he ascended the throne. Therefore his grandfather, 
Fujiwara Yoshifusa, was appointed his guardian. 
Later on when a more youthful Emperor, Yozei- 
TennS ascended the throne, Mototsune, an adopted 
son of Fujiwara Yoshifusa, was appointed guardian. 
As Yozei-TennS had feeble health and was incapable 
of governing, Fujiwara Mototsune remained guardian 
when the Emperor was grown up. Mototsune 
greatly distinguished himself during his regency, and 
became so powerful that he deposed Yozei-Tenno, 
and set Koko-Tenno (884-887) on the throne, who, 
being Emperor only in name, left all power and 
authority to Mototsune. After 5 years Koko-Tenno 
abdicated in favour of his son, Uda-Tenno (887-897). 
Although he was 28 years of age, Mototsune assumed 
the office of guardian, for so far had it come that 
even an Emperor who was of age had to acknowledge 
an officially recognised guardian from the all-power- 
ful minister's family. Such a guardian for an adult 
Emperor held the title of Kambaku. 

Chancellor of the Right 



IT was natural that an Emperor, conscious in some 
degree of his own powers, should dislike such a 
guardianship, and so Uda-Tenno made an attempt 
to destroy the supremacy of the Fujiwara. When 
his Kambaku, Mototsune, died, he refused to recog- 
nise the new guardian appointed by the Fujiwara. 
Moreover, he sought to set up in power and esteem 
another family, the Sugawara, as rivals to the 
Fujiwara, and he appointed Michizane, a clever 
member of the Sugawara, Chancellor of the Right. 
But Uda-Tenno was not the man wholly to carry 
out his great political ideas for, devoted to Buddhism 
with his whole soul, he abdicated in favour of his 
twelve year old son, shaved his head, and became a 
Buddhist monk. He arranged that no Fujiwara should 
receive the office of guardian to the boy Emperor, 
Daigo-Tenno (897-930 A.D.), and out of hatred to 
them he offered Michizane the post of guardian 
to the young Emperor. But the power of the 
Fujiwara was still exceedingly great, and Michizane 


refused the invitation from fear of them. Mototsune's 
son, Fujiwara Tokihira, who was Chancellor of the 
Left, gained so great an influence over the young 
Emperor that he succeeded in slandering Michizane 
to him and procuring his banishment. Michizane 
died in exile. 

When Daigo-Tenno was grown up, he ruled with 
wisdom and mercy. His reign lasted 33 years and 
was prosperous and happy. Poetry and science 
flourished, and the scholars and writers, Sugawara 
Michizane, Miyoshi Kiyoyuki and Kino Haseo, who 
had all had a Chinese education deserve mention. 
Kino Tsurayuki and OshikSchi Mitsune were dis- 
tinguished song-writers ; Kino Tsurayuki wrote 
Japanese prose in his descriptions of travel. At the 
command of Daigo-Tenno they both collected 
Japanese songs ; their comprehensive collection fills 
20 volumes and is the first made with imperial co- 

There was also at this time a celebrated painter, 
named Kose Kanaoka. 



The founding of a fixed place of residence, and the 
increase of prosperity resulted in more luxurious 
ways at court. The nobles and their families who 
lived at Ki5to vied with each other in the display of 
splendour and luxury. Many families who hitherto 
had held a high position lost their wealth through 
their extravagant way of life. On the other hand 
the Fujiwara, through their alliance with the imperial 
family, attained greater power than ever. Their 
supremacy was so oppressive to the other families 
that they preferred to leave Kioto and settle in the 
country. The Fujiwara family who now held sway 
alone in the capital, led a life of magnificence and 
luxury. In the administration of the land they no 
longer considered the welfare of the state, but 
thought of their own advantage, especially of obtain- 
ing means for their luxurious way of life. They 
granted privileges to the officials and nobility in the 
provinces in return for others granted to themselves. 
The ordinances of the great Reform era were set 
aside, and official posts became hereditary. Thus 


the territorial nobility again became powerful, they 
gained extensive landed property, forced the peasants 
to serve them, and so were in a position to raise 
troops and command great military power. 

This military and feudal nobility now beginning to 
make itself felt in the country, was later called Buke, 
to distinguish it from the court nobility which was 
called Kuge. 

The development of feudalism and of the power 
of the nobility was closely associated with numerous 
internal struggles. 

In the time of Suzaku-Tenno (930-946 A.D.), Taira 
Masakado, a descendant of Kammu-Tenno, asked 
the minister Fujiwara Tadahira to appoint him 
Colonel of the Police (Kebushi). When Fujiwara 
refused, he went back to his native province of 
Shimosa which lay to the east, collected troops, 
attacked the neighbouring province of Hidachi, 
and murdered the prefect who was his uncle. 
The central power was not strong enough to put 
down the rebel, who later marched through the 
country plundering as he went. In 939 A.D. he even 
built a fortress in the village of Sashiura, in the 
province of Shimosa, and ruled there like an in- 
dependent prince, from time to time renewing his 
raids into the neighbouring district. At that time 
also Fujiwara Sumitomo rebelled in western Japan. 
He allied himself with pirates, ruled the Seto inland 
sea with them, and made raids on the coasts. He 
even extended his plundering enterprises as far as 
the capital, Ki5to, and set fire to it. 


So that anarchical conditions prevailed. The 
imperial court lived in fear and terror. They 
managed to equip an expedition against Taira 
Masakado, but it only reached Shimosa when 
Masakado had already been defeated and killed 
(940 a.d.) by independent nobles in the province of 
Hidachi, by Taira Sadamori, whose father he had 
murdered, and by Fujiwara Hidesato. Fujiwara 
Sumitomo, likewise, was not conquered by the 
central government but by the territorial nobility. 
His conquerors were Minamoto Tsune-moto and 

The authority and influence of the Taira and the 
Minamoto greatly increased during this period. 
There existed a great distinction between them and 
the Fujiwara. The Fujiwara were a family of ministers 
and their importance lay in the fact that they held 
the court and all the officials in their hands. The 
others relied on the military power which they had 
established in their territories. 





MURAKAMI-Tenno (946-967), the son of Daigo- 
Tenno made a fresh attempt to get the government 
of the state into his own hands. Although possessed 
of undoubted talent, he was not successful in 
effecting any real reform in the conditions of 
government. The power of the Fujiwara family had 
already become too strong. His son, Reizei-Tenno 
(967-969), came again under the guardianship 
of the powerful clan, and for more than a century, 
the old imperial family sank into entire insignificance. 
The court life of the Fujiwara w T as of great 
magnificence, especially that of Fujiwara Michinaga, 
who governed the country for about 30 years as 
guardian for three Emperors. He married his three 
daughters to imperial princes and became the 
grandfather of three Emperors. His five sons were 
appointed to the highest offices. He set up and 
deposed Emperors at pleasure. The Fujiwara loved 
splendour and luxury and encouraged the fine arts. 


Fujiwara Michinaga erected magnificent buildings 
and laid out fine gardens. Of all the temples he 
built, the finest was the royal temple at Mido. He 
was therefore called Mido Kambaku. His motto was : 
■ The moon changes every month, but I am always 
the full moon.'* His son Yorimichi was also guardian 
for about 50 years and for three Emperors. Then he 
resigned and lived in royal splendour in Uji as Uji- 

The most important circumstance of this period of 
the supremacy of the Fujiwara was that the Chinese 
civilization that had hitherto prevailed took on more 
and more of Japanese colour. For a long time 
China had been in a disturbed condition, and 
endless civil wars had rendered regular diplomatic 
intercourse with a foreign state impossible. There- 
fore by the advice of the chancellor, Sugawara 
Michizane, Daigo-Tenno had not sent ambassadors 
to China, and in the following years official relations 
had been lacking with a country torn by civil war. 
So that Japanese civilization began to assume an 
independent national character. 

The syllabic writing consisting of 47 letters 
invented by Kukai now came into practical use. 
We have already mentioned that the author, Kino 
Tsurayuki, used it for his prose works. Many writers 
followed his example, e.g. the unknown author of the 
Satire (< Torikaebaya-monogatari," 1 and the learned 
poetess Murasaki-Shikibu who lived at the imperial 

1 The story of the topsy-turvy world. 


court, in her " Genji-monogatari," ' and the learned 
lady-in-waiting, Seishonagon, in her regular reports 
of the events of the day destined for the court, which 
were collected under the title of " Makura-no-soshi," 
and in her songs. At that time learned women and 
poetesses were no rarity at court. Girls received an 
excellent education. Women held as important a 
place at court as they did in European society. 
In the satire " Torikaebaya-monogatari " mentioned 
above, the unknown author scourges that condition 
of things and says, scoffingly, the men were women 
and the women men. 

In architecture also, an independent spirit now 
ruled, and it was freed from Chinese influence. 
Beautiful gardens were laid out with fountains, ponds, 
and artificial eminences, and pretty country houses 
were built. Chinese costume went out of fashion, 
and clothes were made according to Japanese taste. 
The Japanese garment " Kimono," came into 
being. Japanese arts and industries developed 
independently, and furniture and utensils were made 
in their own taste. Painting and sculpture produced 
original talent. The painter Takuma Tamenari made 
his celebrated wall paintings at Uji in the royal 
temple Hoodo, built by Uji-Kambaku, and Jocho 
his well-known statues of Buddha. 

When the tribe Joshin, which occupied a fairly 
independent position in Manchuria, attacked the 
inhabitants of the Japanese islands, Iki and Tsush- 

1 The story of the hero Genji. 


I KVrn* J, Hf. 


ima, Fujiwara Takaie, the President of the Dazaifu 
board which, as we have already said, governed the 
province of Tsukushi, successfully repulsed the 
enemy. _JBut soon afterwards in the time of Go- 
Reizei-Tenno (1045-1068), the noble and great 
landed proprietor Abe-no- Yoritoki and his son set 
on foot a rebellion in the province of Mutsu. The 
Fujiwara were powerless against them, and the 
Emperor was compelled to beg help of the Minamoto 
against the rebels. After twelve years' fighting, the 
Minamoto succeeded in quelling the rising. During 
that time their military power increased, and they 
were soon strong enough in alliance with the Taira 
to put down the power of the hitherto ruling family 
of officials, the Fujiwara. 








UNDER the guardianship of the Fujiwara family, the 

Emperor led a wretched^ sort of mock existence. 

They forced the adult Emperors to abdicate so 

that most of the Emperors who sat on the 

throne were minors. The imperial princes were 

married to daughters of the Fujiwara, and those 

alliances increased the power of the clan. But the 

Fujiwara, like the Emperors of an earlier time, gave 

themselves up to a life of luxury, wasted their 

strength in excesses, and entirely neglected to 

establish a military basis. So that directly a capable 

ruler came to the throne, he was able to free himself 

from their guardianship. 

x Such an Emperor was Go-Sanjo-Tenn5 (1068- 

\ 1072). On his accession he directed all his efforts to 

I put an end to the co-operation of the Fujiwara in the 

igovernment and to restore the imperial family to 

^power and esteem. As far as possible he ruled by 


himself, and the Fujiwara family and the rest of the 
nobility had to content themselves with administering 
their own property and the provinces they had 
gained. The Emperor forbade the officials to sell 
their posts and arranged that officials could only be 
appointed by himself. He practised great economy, 
and tried to curb the expenditure of the officials. 
And thus he was able somewhat to improve public 
order and administration. His last political idea was 
that the restoration of the guardianship of the 
Fujiwara must be prevented and that therefore the 
Emperor should abdicate in good time, and himself 
become the guardian of his successor. He put his 
idea into practice by abdicating himself, and 
continuing to govern as guardian. Then death over- 
took him. 

His son, Shirakawa-Tenno (1072-1086), the 72nd 
Emperor, followed his father's example, and under- 
took the guardianship of his son, and after his death, 
of his grandson. And so the guardianship of the 
Fujiwara was abolished for ever. Yet they continued 
to hold a great position at court, since the most 
important offices of state were still filled by members 
of their family. 

Shirakawa-Tenno did not inherit his father's 
economy. He built many temples, set up over 3,000 
statues of Buddha, and undertook pilgrimages to the 
temples of Koza and Kumano, both at a great 
distance from the capital. These pilgrimages cost 
large sums of money, since the Emperor was 
accompanied by a large and splendidly equipped 


suite. And so it came that he was forced to sell 
offices and privileges for money, and that in 
consequence the imperial power was weakened. 

His piety and his submission to the Buddhist 
religion had a very bad result in the power of the 
priests who from that time became more and more 
overbearing. They even entered on wars, collected 
mercenary troops, and made private war. The 
temples of Enriakuji and Kofukuji, especially, collected 
large armies and entered into bloody wars. They 
paid no heed to imperial decrees. In order to defy 
the government, they allied themselves more closely, 
made continual raids on Kioto, and threatened the 
court there. Shirakawa-Tenn5 used to say : " As 
little as the weeds and the waters of the Kamogawa 1 
obey my orders, as little do my priests heed them." 
The Taira and the Minamoto were his last refuge ; he 
begged them to come to the capital to protect it from 
the attacks of the priests. A short time before, the 
Minamoto family had, at the Emperor's request, 
defeated Kiyowara Takehira, the imperial commander, 
and his nephew who had led an insurrection in the 
province of Mutsu. So the two military families 
became indispensable to the imperial court, and in 
time gained the same power as the Fujiwara had had 
before them. 

l Kawa or Gawa = river. 



BLOODY dissensions that occurred in the imperial 
family itself contributed in an important degree to 
strengthen the power of the two ambitious military 

After the death of Shirakawa-TennS, his grandson, 
the Toba-Tenn5 who had abdicated, undertook the 
guardianship for his eldest son, Sutoku-Tenno (1123- 
1 141 ). But he soon deposed him and set his youngest 
and favourite son, Konoe-Tenno (1141-1155), on the 
throne. He died, however, when he was sixteen years 
old, and then Toba-Tenn5 bestowed the imperial 
throne on another of his sons, Go-Shirakawa-Tenn5 
(11 5 5- 1 158). This roused the anger of his deposed 
eldest son, Sutoku-Tenno, who desired that he or his 
son should be Emperor. As long as his father lived, 
he controlled his anger, but on his death he assembled 
a large army, and laid siege to Go-Shirakawa-Tenn5's 
palace. In sore need he was compelled to call in the 
help of Minamoto Yoshitomo and Taira Kiyomori, 
who after severe fighting put the deposed Sutoku- 


Tennd to flight. He fell into the hands of the 
imperial army and was banished to the province of 
Sanuki in the island of Shikoku. 

The two families, who in this manner acquired a 
most influential position at the imperial court, soon 
began to quarrel among themselves. 



MiNAMOTO YOSHITOMO was a distinguished soldier, 
and Taira Kiyomori an astute statesman. The latter, 
through his friendship with Shinsai, an intriguing 
court official and a favourite of the Emperor, acquired 
greater influence and power at court than Minamoto. 
At that time also one of the Fujiwara named Nobu- 
yori enjoyed the favour of Go-Shirakawa-Tenno. He 
sought by his intervention to get himself appointed 
general of the guards. But the Emperor at the 
instigation of Shinsai, the rival favourite, refused 
his request. Fujiwara sought a means of revenge 
and allied himself with Minamoto Yoshimoto who 
was an enemy of Taira Kiyomori, and his friend the 
courtier Shinsai. In 1 159 Fujiwara and Minamoto 
came to open war with the Taira. They soon 
defeated them, occupied the imperial palace and for 
ten days ruled in the name of the Emperor. But the 
Taira quickly collected fresh troops with-whom they 
now proceeded to gain a victory over their enemies. 
Fujiwara Nobuyori and Yoshitomo's eldest son were 
taken prisoners in the battle, and soon afterwards 


executed. Minamoto Yoshitomo fled, and hid among 
his vassals, but they, from fear of punishment, 
treacherously murdered him. 

The Taira were now determined to render the 
Minamoto family harmless forever. They banished 
Yorimoto, the eldest of Yoshitomo's surviving sons 
(by his lawful wife) to the province of Izu where he 
was placed under the surveillance of Hojo Tokimasa, 
one of their vassals. The other sons with their mother 
(a concubine of Yoshitomo) were taken prisoners in 
the country. The mother only saved her children's 
lives by giving herself to her deadly foe, Taira Ki- 
yomori. The children, one of whom was later the 
famous Yoshitsune, were hidden in a monastery. 
The vassals of the conquered family were distributed 
through various districts of the land, and it seemed as 
if a restoration of the Minamoto was rendered 
absolutely impossible. But even in exile, their vassals 
remained loyal to them, and only waited until Yo- 
shitomo's sons should be grown up, in order, under 
their leadership, to take up arms for their hereditary 



After this war the Taira held all the power in their 
own hands. Kiyomori was chancellor-in-chief and 
received the title of Juichii. 1 His daughter was the 
wife of Takakura-Tenn5 (1168-1180). His sons and 
other relatives, sixteen in number, were ministers, or 
held other high offices. Half of the whole of the 
Japanese Empire was in the private ownership of the 
Taira family. It was said at that time that no one 
who did not belong to the race of the Taira was a man. 
The family soon became so arrogant and proud that 
it was universally hated. 

Even Go-Shirakawa-Tenno who had abdicated, had 
to suffer under their authority and tried to free him- 
self from it. Therefore his favourite Fujiwara Nari- 
chika brought together many malcontents in the 
house of the priest Shunkan in the village of 
Shishi-ga-dani, and they formed a conspiracy. They 
were discovered, and the conspirators were put to 
death or exiled. Taira Kiyomori conceived a plan 

1 The highest title that an official can hold in his lifetime. 

Taira Shigemori 

Face />. 79] 


to imprison Go-Shirakawa-Tenno, whom he entirely 
mistrusted. But his son, Shigemori, who remained 
loyal to the deposed Emperor was able for some time 
to prevent its execution. When, however, he had 
died of grief for his father's many misdeeds, the latter 
kept Go-Shirakawa-Tenno a prisoner in a castle near 
the capital. 

But when soon after the wife of the Emperor Taka- 
kura, the daughter of Taira Kiyomori, bore a son, 
Kiyomori compelled Takakura-Tenno to abdicate, and 
placed the new-born infant on the throne as Antoku- 
Tenno (1180-1185) in order to assume the guardian- 
ship for his grandson. He now felt himself secure in 
power, and kept a brilliant and luxurious court. And 
his officials and all the members of his family did like- 
wise and led a life of luxury and dissipation, in abso- 
lute certainty of the strength of their supremacy. 

But the Minamoto and their dependents had never 
ceased to plan an attack on their enemies. 

Minamoto Yoshitsune left the monastery, and fled 
to the north of the empire, where he prepared himself 
for the coming fight by many a knightly adventure. 
Meanwhile Minamoto Yoritomo had made friends with 
his guardian, Hojo Tokimasa, and had married his 
daughter. He was the real leader of the conspiracy 
against the Taira. Secretly the Minamoto won adher- 
ents and economised their strength. It was of the 
greatest importance that the son of the imprisoned Go- 
Shirakawa-Tenno should support them, and with his 
consent, Minamoto Yoritomo began to collect troops in 
the province of Izu, while his cousin, Minamoto 


Yoshinaka, collected the sinews of war in the province 
of Shinano. 

Taira Kiyomori was not to live to see the end of the 
struggle. On hearing of the rebellion he sent a 
powerful army against Yoritomo, but it could do 
nothing against him, and after receiving the news of 
the defeat Kiyomori died. 

Minamoto Yoshinaka had meanwhile succeeded in 
subduing the province of Shinano, and soon conquered 
also the territory lying to the north-west of the pro- 
vince. He put an army sent against him by the 
Taira to flight, and pursued it even to the capital. 
The Taira then fled with the young Antoku-Tenn5 
and the insignia 1 preserved in the imperial palace, to 
the west of Japan. 

Go-Shirakawa-Tennd returned to the capital from 
his prison. He set up Go-Toba-Tenno, a half-brother 
of Antoku-Tenno as Emperor, so that there were now 
two Emperors. 

Strife soon broke out between the victors. By his 
insolent and cruel government Minamoto Yoshinaka 
evoked the hostility of Go-Shirakawa, the guardian of 

1 The insignia consisted of copies of the mirror and 
sword. According to the Nihongi, Sujin-Tennd built a temple 
in Kasanui (province of Yamato) for the mirror and sword that 
had been presented by Amaterasu-Omikami. At the same time 
he had copies made of them which were preserved in the im- 
perial palace together with the Magatama. Under Suinin- 
Tenno the real mirror and sword were kept in another place. 
He built a new temple for them in the province of Ise on the 
Isuzu where they continued to be preserved. 

Battle of the Minamoto and Taira 


the Emperor. He summoned Minamoto Yoritomo to 
his aid, who meanwhile had made Kamakura in the 
plain of Kant5 his residence and from there directed 
the enterprise against the Taira. Yoritomo sent an 
army against Yoshinaka under the command of his 
brothers of whom Yoshitsune especially distinguished 
himself by deeds of valour. They were victorious and 
by the order of Yoritomo they put Yoshinaka to death. 

The Taira thought to use these quarrels of the 
Minamoto family to regain their old supremacy. 
They ventured an attack on the capital which was an 
entire failure. Driven back they fled into the province 
of Sanuki. The Minamoto pursued them, and gained 
a victory over them, and the Taira had to take refuge 
in their ships and flee to the west. But there, too, 
they were pursued by land or sea by their victorious 
adversaries. When they tried to land on the coast of 
the Dan-no-ura Sea it was already occupied by the 
Minamoto. Some who tried to effect a landing 
by force, fell in the struggle, and the rest were 
drowned. The Emperor's grandmother, the widow of 
Taira Kiyomori, threw herself into the sea with the 
young Antoku-Tenno and the imperial insignia. And 
so after a supremacy of thirty years the Taira family 
was destroyed for ever (i 185). 

The imperial family for whom the Taira had become 
too powerful did not long enjoy the triumph of their 
downfall. They had had a dangerous ally in the 
struggle, one who was now all powerful and able to 
secure greater authority in the Empire than the 
Taira had possessed. 










It has been already stated that Minamoto Yoritomo, 
at the time of the downfall of his family, had taken up 
his residence at Kamakura in the eastern province of 
Sagami, and thence conducted the military enterprises 
of his family. The Samurai-dokoro, the officials ap- 
pointed by Yoritomo for military affairs, had their 
seat there. When the whole power came into the 
hands of the Minamoto, Kamakura became the real 
seat of government. Yoritomo appointed Kumonjo 
or Mandokoro, the actual government officials, with 
Monjusho to be officers of justice. The councils ap- 
pointed by Yoritomo at Kamakura possessed in real- 
ity the power of the government. The old Dajokan 
and the ministers and councils working under him, 
remained in the imperial capital Kioto, but their 
offices were merely titular. They no longer possessed 
real practical power. In 1192 Go-Toba Tenno sent 
an embassy to Yoritomo which appointed him Shogun, 
i.e. commander-in-chief. Thence comes the term, 


Shogunate of Kamakura. As Shogun, Yoritomo was 
the sole head of the government. He levied taxes, 
and was especially careful to collect those due for the 
army, and paid his soldiers. He rewarded those who 
had been loyal to him with large grants of land. He 
was respectful to the Emperor and formally recog- 
nised him as the actual ruler. In reality the sovereign 
did not possess the slightest power in the country > 
and exercised no influence on Yoritomo's government. 
The foundation of the Shogunate was not a mere 
chance or passing event in the historical development 
of Japan nor must it be regarded merely as the act 
of any one great man like Yoritomo. It was the 
result of a long evolution which marks the essen- 
tial character of the Japanese Empire, the evolution of 
the feudal system which had its beginnings in the 
time of the Fujiwara. Yoritomo owed the power to 
acquire so independent a position with regard to the 
Emperor and the government of the state entirely to 
the loyalty of his vassals who, during the period of 
persecution, had remained faithful to him, and the 
powerful position of great families like the Taira and 
Minamoto was only a circumstance in the evolution of 
the feudal system. In the course of the last centuries 
new powers had arisen. The power of the Emperor 
and of the imperial officials was wholly abolished by 
the power of the feudal lords, the DaimiSs, who relied 
on the support of their vassals, the Samurai, whom we 
may already call knights. The actual reins of govern- 
ment were held by the most powerful of the feudal 
lords, the Shogun. 



With the establishment of the Shogunate a new 
epoch of Japanese history began, just as the great 
reforms of the Taika years formed another. With some 
breaks, the Shogunate remained the prevailing form 
of government until quite modern times, until Japan 
came into closer relations with Europe. 

Simultaneously with the progress and change due 
to the feudal system in the political conditions of 
Japan, there were also important ethical developments 
in the Japanese nation which the Japanese call " Bus- 
hido" (chivalry). Bushido is of fundamental import- 
ance for the moral outlook ot the Japanese nation, 
and we shall often have to speak of it in greater 

Yoritomo understood how to use the new develop- 
ment for his own aims. He possessed great organiz- 
ing and administrative talent, and succeeded in 
founding a new central government and bringing the 
whole of the empire under its sway. But side by side 
with his great intellectual gifts and his energy, he had 
serious faults of character. Only too soon he showed 
himself accessible to the evil influence of the H5j5 
family to which he owed his life, and from among 
whom he had chosen a wife. Through them he per- 
secuted his brave brother, Yoshitsune, who had gained 
many laurels in the late fighting and who together 
with his friend Benkei is still celebrated in the songs 
of the poets. When Yoshitsune saw that his brother 
had designs on his life, he fled, and raised a rebellion 
which was unsuccessful. Finally he was murdered by 
a great noble in Mutsu. Yoritomo also got rid of his 


younger brother Noriyori, and so through his own 
fault the supremacy of his family was soon ended by 
the very persons in whom he had put his trust. 

On the death of Yoritomo, his son Yoriie became 
Shogun. After four years his grandfather, Hojo 
Tokimasa, banished him, and then had him murdered. 
His brother Sanetomo, the third Shogun, succumbed 
to a plot of Hojo Yoshitoki, the son of Tokimasa. 
He was the last of Yoritomo's descendants. But the 
ruin of the Minamoto family, through the establish- 
ment of the Shogunate had little influence on the new 
political ordering of the state. 



When the Minamoto family became extinct with the 
murder of the third Shogun by Hojo Yoshitoki, the 
Hojo family could not at once gain possession of the 
Shogunate, as they were not of noble birth. They 
had originally not been freemen, and had only won 
respect in military service with great nobles, at last 
with the Taira. None of the great families of the 
nobility would have recognised a Hojo as Shogun. 
Therefore H5jo Yoshitoki first summoned a one year 
old boy of the Fujiwara from the capital, appointed him 
Shogun, and conducted the government for him under 
the title of Shikken, i.e. deputy of the commander-in- 

Go-Toba-Tenno, the deposed Emperor, disliked the 
tyrannical rule of the Shikken, and decided to crush 
the Hojo family by means of his son, Juntoku-Tenno. 
For that purpose Juntoku-Tennd abdicated, and his 
son Chukio-Tenno ascended the throne. 

The preparations made by the imperial family were 
betrayed to Hojo Yoshitoki. He immediately sent 


his brother and his son with an army against the 
capital. A battle with the troops which the Emperor 
hurriedly collected ensued and resulted in their 
defeat. Yoshitoki deposed Chukio-Tenno, raised 
his cousin Go-Horikawa-Tenno to the throne, 
and sent Go-Toba-Tenno, the instigator of the 
rebellion, and his family, into exile. He placed a 
permanent garrison in the capital under the command 
of a Rokuhara-Tandai, who had surveillance over the 
Emperor, and had the right of deciding whether an 
emperor should remain on the throne or should 

Hojd Yasutoki, son of Yoshitoki, and also his son, 
Tokiyori, had prosperous and happy reigns. Yasutoki 
instituted a law comprising 5 1 articles relating to the 
new order of knights. It was called Jdei-Shikimoku ' 
after the Joei year (1232) in which it was proclaimed. 
Tokiyori made an imperial prince Shogun, and the 
innovation had the result that for the future the 
Sh5gunate was always held by princes, generally 

1 Shikimoku»i*w. 

Mongolian Ship Attacked by Japanese 

Face p. 91] 



THE most important event in the reign of the Shikken 
is the repulse of the Mongolian attacks on Japan. 

Mangkan, king of the Mongols, grandson of the 
famous Dshingiskhan who had pillaged eastern 
Europe from 12 19 to 1225, and cousin of the Bathu 
who conquered Russia, and penetrated victoriously as 
far as Liegnitz in Silesia (1241), ordered his brother 
Khubilai-khan to bring China under his sway. 
Khubilai-khan succeeded in subduing a large part of 
China and Korea. When by the death of his 
brother, he became lord of Mongolia and the 
conquered territories, he made Peking his capital, 
and sent ambassadors to Japan to demand that the 
Emperor should recognise his supremacy. But at the 
instigation of the Shikken the embassy was sent back. 
Khubilai-khan equipped a fleet which with 30,000 
men sailed the sea to conquer the Japanese islands. 
Hojo Tokimune prevented them from landing, and 
on their return the whole fleet was destroyed by a 
storm. In order to protect himself from further 
attacks, Hoj5 Tokimune fortified the bay of Hakata, 


which was the chief place where the enemy would 
land, and put a strong garrison there. 

In 1281, in the reign of Go-Uda-Tenn5 (1274-1287), 
Kubilai-khan again sent a large fleet with an army 
100,000 men strong to Japan, but the cleverness 
of Hojo Tokimune and the courage of the Japanese 
warriors enabled them to repel the attack and the 
hostile fleet was again destroyed by a storm on their 
return voyage. Only a few of the Mongols were 
saved and returned home. That was the last time 
that a foreign foe attempted to conquer Japan. 

The war, however, for the first time, gave opportunity 
lO a European, the Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, 
who was then living at the Court of Kubilai-khan, to 
learn something about Japan, and he published the 
result of his studies in his travels as an account of 



The disturbances during the time of the Taira and 
Minamoto had not destroyed the beginnings made in 
art and learning during the Nara and Fujiwara time. 
They found no place, however, among the knightly 
order. The knights cared only for fighting, and spent 
times of peace in military exercises, tournaments, 
wrestling, shooting with the bow, etc. If the young 
Samurai learnt to read, he confined his reading to 
tales of the heroic deeds of his ancestors. 

But a very different life prevailed at the imperial 
court. Shut out entirely from political and military 
activities, there was leisure for the encouragement of 
learning and especially of poetry. Japan reckons as 
its best poets, Go-Toba-Tenno, Juntoko-Tenno, 
Fujiwara Shunzei and his son Fujiwara Teika, 
Fujiwara Ietaka and the Buddhist priest, Saigio. 

The Buddhist priests had great importance in the 
development of Japanese culture. For Buddhism 
had just entered on a new epoch. Hitherto that 
religion had, on account of its philosophical character, 


been confined to the educated class, for it was too 
difficult for the unlearned to understand. Buddhism 
was first made accessible to the common people, 
through the sects which practiced a wide tolerance, 
took heed of the needs of the people, and understood 
how to make their teaching comprehended by all. 
They have already been mentioned as the Tendai-Shu 
and Shingon-Shu. The following are the most 
important of the later sects. The priest, Honen- 
Shonin, founded the JddS-shu. 1 The chief doctrine 
of that sect was that salvation could only be obtained 
by the grace of Buddha and that men must un- 
ceasingly pray : " Namu amida butsu," i.e. " I trust 
in Buddha." Shinran-Shonin, the pupil of Honen- 
Sh5nin, founded the Shin-shu. That sect permitted 
marriage and the eating of meat. Nichiren-Shonin 
founded a sect which bore the name Nichiren-Shu 
after him, or Hokke-Shu after his teaching. Contrary 
to the "Namu amida butsu," of the Jod5-Shu, he 
taught the prayer: "Namu mio horen gekio," i.e. 
"I trust in the beautiful Hokekio." Hokekio is 
according to Nichiren the classic book of Buddha's 

Through these sects Buddhism not only became 
extremely powerful in Japan and the prevailing 
religion, but it led also to the secular progress of the 
land. Buddhist priests occupied themselves more 
than formerly with secular tasks, poetry, the arts and 
learning. Saigio, for example, was a famous poet. 

1 Jodo=the kingdom of God. Shu = sect. 


Art-loving Buddhist priests encouraged the painters, 
Tosa Mitsunaga and Fujiwara Nobuzane, and the 
carvers, Unkei and Tankei to produce their famous 
works which were mostly destined to adorn Buddhist 

The manufacture of pottery, especially, made pro- 
gress among the people. 



Go-Saga-Tenno (1242- i 246) preferred his younger 
son to the elder who had already ascended the throne 
as Go-Fukakusa-Tenno (1246-1259); he compelled 
Go-Fukakusa-Tenno to abdicate, and the younger son 
became Emperor with the name Kameyana-Tenno 
(1 259-1 274). And Go-Saga-Tenno determined that 
the Imperial dignity should remain for ever in the 
Kameyana family. Therefore Go-Fukakusa-Tenn5 
allied himself with the Shikken, Hojo Tokimune, and 
with his aid, after the death of Go-Saga-Tenno, placed 
his son on the throne as Fushimi-Tenno (1287- 1298), 
and deposed his younger brother. Sadatoki, son of 
Hojo Tokimune, at first attached himself to the line 
of the elder brother, and placed the son of Fushimi- 
Tenno on the throne as Go-Fushimi-Tenno (1298- 
1301). But in consequence of the continual complaints 
of Go-Uda-Tenno (1274- 1287), who had abdicated, 
about the violation of his grandfather's will, he deter- 
mined later that in future each line should reign 
alternately. The chief branch of the elder brother, 


Go-Fukakusa-Tenno, was henceforth called Ji-mio-in, 
for after his abdication he lived at Ji-mio-in ; the 
chief branch of the younger was called Daigagu-ji 
after the temple of Daigagu-ji which it had made its 

The Shikken, Hojo Takatoki, the son of Sadatoki, 
led a dissipated and extravagant life and practised 
great cruelties. And so all the people hated him, and 
desired that he should be removed. The reigning 
Emperor, Go-Daigo-Tenno (13 18-1339), who belonged 
to the Daigagu-ji branch, thought the opportunity 
had come to free himself from the Shikken's authority, 
and to put an end to the Shogunate for ever. But 
his plan became known to the Shikken who in 1331 
sent a large army against the capital. The imperial 
army succumbed. The Emperor was taken prisoner 
as he fled, and banished to the island of Oki. The 
Shikken chose the new Emperor, Kogon-Tenno, from 
the other branch. 

The war roused public opinion, and a strong imperial 
party came into being, the object of which was the 
fall of the Shikken. As adherents of the Emperor 
may be mentioned : Kusunoki Masashige, Akamatsu 
Norimura, Nawa Nagatoshi, and the Nitta and 
Ashikaga families who were both descended from 
the Minamoto family. Nitta Yoshisada collected 
troops in his province of Kozuke and marched to 
Kamakura. During the siege, Hojo Takatoki and 
his whole family and his adherents took refuge in a 
temple where they all, about 200 in number, committed 
suicide. Meanwhile Go-Daigo-Tenno had returned 



from the island of Oki. Nawa Nagatoshi had assembled 
troops for him in the province of Hold, and with them 
he began to conquer the neighbouring provinces. 
Kusunoki Masashige led a rebellion in support of Go- 
Daigo-Tenno in the province of Kawachi which was 
situated near the capital. Ashikagu Takauji, another 
adherent of Go-Daigo-Tenno, a few weeks after the 
fall of the Hojo family, succeeded in taking possession 
of the capital. After Go-Daigo-Tenno and his sup- 
porters had marched into the capital, Kogon-Tenno 
who owed his crown to Hoj5-Takatoki, abdicated, 
and left the throne to Go-Daigo-Tenno who was now 
actually in sole possession of the government (1333). 

But the Emperor only enjoyed for a brief space the 
independence of which for the last 150 years, the 
throne had been deprived by the Shogunate. 





After his entry into the capital, Go-Daigo-Tenn6 
ruled the whole Empire himself. He gave the command 
of the army to Prince Morinaga, appointed Prince 
Norinaga, governor of the north, and Prince 
Narinaga, who had hitherto been Shogun in Kamakura, 
governor of the city and of the plain of Kanto. The 
position of the old imperial officials like the Dajokan, 
and his subordinate ministers who under the Shogunate 
had sunk into entire insignificance, was now improved 
although they never regained their former importance, 
as the Emperor appointed new officials and gave 
them the actual power. These changes in the govern- 
ment were known as the reforms of the Kemmu year. 
Only a portion of the men who had distinguished 
themselves in the war received great rewards. Many 
went unrewarded, while many court favourites 
received gifts beyond their deserts. Complaints 
soon arose in the army about the conferring of dis- 
tinctions. The ill-feeling increased the more it was 
recognised that under the imperial government the 
military element lost the importance it had had 
under the Shogunate, and the more the imperial 
civil officials and the courtiers triumphed over it. 


The people, too, were infected by the discontent, for 
in spite of the heavy taxes which oppressed them 
as a result of the war, the Emperor built new palaces 
and kept an extravagant court. Nearly everyone 
began to long for the former government. 

Ashikaga Takauji desired to make use of the 
discontent to restore the Shogunate government in 
favour of his family. Prince Morinaga was clever 
enough to scent out the plan, told the Emperor of his 
fears, and tried to make it of no. avail. But Ashikaga 
slandered him to the Emperor, and effected his banish- 
ment to Kamakura where he had him murdered. 

When H5jo Tokiyuki, the only Hojo who at the 
destruction of the family was saved by a servant, 
raised a rebellion in Kamakura, he seized the 
opportunity to obtain the command of the army from 
the Emperor with the order to suppress the rebels. 
He increased his army by recruiting a large number 
of malcontents who were ready to rebel against the 
imperial rule. After defeating Hojo, he publicly put 
himself in opposition to the Emperor. 

The Emperor ordered Nitta Yoshisada to subdue 
him. But after several battles in the mountains of 
Hakone, Nitta's army was destroyed, and Nitta 
himself fled with what remained of it to Kioto. Then 
Akamatsu Norimura who was also dissatisfied with 
the Imperial government went over to Ashikaga with 
a large body of troops, and they took the capital. 
Go-Daigo-Tenno fled to the temple on the hill of Hiei. 
Meanwhile Nitta Yoshisada had assembled a fresh 
band of combatants among the Emperor's adherents, 


and hurried secretly with them to the capital, attacked 
Ashikaga's army, put it to flight, and recaptured the 
town for the Emperor who was able to return again, 
but only for a short time. 

Ashikaga fled to the island of Kiusu and began 
there, supported by the authority of Kogon-Tenno 
(of the other imperial branch), to collect fresh troops 
in order to march again on the capital. His friend 
Akamatsu attacked the imperial troops led by Nitta 
Yoshisada, which had pursued Ashikaga to Kiusiu, 
and were here entirely destroyed, and kept them 
fighting until Ashikaga had collected his new army, 
and made an attack on the imperial capital. When 
Nitta received the news of Ashikaga's march on 
Kioto, he took up an advantageous position near the 
village of Hi5go, and there awaited the hostile army. 
Ashikaga now joined with Akamatsu, and soon after, 
near Hiogo, with his brother who had hastened from 
Kiusiu with a fleet. A fierce battle took place at 
Hiogo in which the imperial army was defeated. 
The imperial commander, Kusunoki Masashige j 
killed himself during the fight. Nitta Yoshisada 
fled back into the capital which was soon 
besieged by the enemy. Go-Daigo-Tenno again 
took refuge in the temple on the hill of Hiei, and 
Nitta Yoshisada escaped to the north with the crown 
prince and the other princes. Ashikaga took 
possession of the capital, and placed a prince of the 
other imperial line, Komio-Tenno 1 on the throne 

1 He was a brother of Kogon-Tenno. 



FROM the temple on the hill of Hiei, Go-Daigo-Tenno 
fled to the province of Yamato, south of the capital, 
and lived there in the village of Yoshino. There 
were again two Emperors in Japan, a dynasty of the 
north and a dynasty of the south. The imperial 
insignia was in possession of the dynasty of the 
south, and it was therefore regarded as the rightful 
imperial line. If its dominions only included a small 
part of the empire, it possessed much sympathy in 
the land of the opposing dynasty, and numbered the 
best men of the Empire among its adherents. The 
division lasted for 56 years and during that time, 
three Emperors of the southern, and five of the 
northern dynasty reigned. The whole period was one 
of fighting between the two families, and actual 
war prevailed for 20 years without a break. 

In 1349, Ashikaga, who then possessed the real 
governing power in the Empire of the northern 
dynasty, commanded his general, Kono Moronao, to 
march with the whole army against the southern 
dynasty. Kusunoki Masatsura (son of the Kusunoki 


Masashige who had committed suicide at the decisive 
defeat of the rightful Emperor), who like his father 
remained faithful to his imperial house, marched out 
with all his adherents to attack him in the field of 
Shijonawate. A battle ensued in which despite their 
courage the adherents of the rightful line were defeated. 
Kusunoki Masatsura and his whole family committed 
suicide. Kono Moronao attacked the imperial 
palace, and Go-Murakami-Tenno, son of Go-Daigo- 
Tenn5 had to flee farther to the south. His former 
palace was razed to the ground. Tenno was not 
pursued farther, for the valley in which he had taken 
refuge was surrounded by mountains, the passes of 
which could be easily defended, and so Go-Murakami- 
Tenno made Kano in that district his place of 

But soon the victorious northern dynasty was 
weakened by the numerous rebellions in their kingdom. 
All the Daimios who were striving for independence 
used these divisions in the reigning family to gain 
their independence. They left the northern dynasty 
under the pretext that they only dared to obey the 
rightful Emperor, and supported by their Samurai 
vassals, they attained absolute independence. There 
were innumerable struggles between the different 
Daimios since each sought to extend his possessions, 
and universal anarchy prevailed in the land. Those 
disturbances were the harbingers of the later hundred 
years' war. 

Amid the confusion, Ashikaga Takauji obtained 
the consent of the northern dynasty to the restoration 


of the ShSgunate. Following the example of the 
former ShSgunate of Kamakura, he placed new 
Shogunate councils at Kioto. It was hoped that the 
councils which differed from the imperial civil service 
through their military authority, would be able to 
restore order. 

The Shogun, Ashikaga Takauji and his son who 
succeeded him in the office, again took up the struggle 
against the southern dynasty. But as it was impos- 
sible to carry on the war, and at the same time to 
introduce improvements into the domestic affairs of 
the Empire, the third Shogun Yoshimitsu (1368-1394) 
thought it wiser to make peace with the southern 
dynasty. In 1392 an embassy of the Shogun con- 
ducted Go-Kameyama-Tenno, the Emperor of the 
southern dynasty to Kioto where a reconciliation 
between him and Go-Komatsu-Tenno, the Emperor 
of the northern dynasty, took place. Go-Kameyama- 
Tenno abdicated, and delivered over the imperial 
insignia to Go-Komatsu-Tenno. Therefore he recog- 
nized him as father, and the whole Empire was again 
united under one dynasty. 





At first the new Shoguns had a very difficult position. 
They were very far from actually governing the 
whole Empire. The numerous rebellions of the 
nobles in the land stood in the way, as well as the 
pride and arrogance of those who were second in 
command whom they were obliged to pay very highly 
for their services, and who, notwithstanding, often 
refused to carry out their orders. Yoshimitsu, the 
third Shogun, was the first who made his influence 
felt throughout the land after the peace with the 
southern dynasty left him free to deal with internal 
disorders. He found strong support in Hosokawa 
Yoriyuki, one of the great nobles. With his help he 
put down the powerful family, Yamana Ujikiyo, who 
owned the sixth part of the whole empire. 

After Yoshimitsu had made the Shogunate fairly 
universally recognised in the Empire, he erected in a 
street of Kioto, Muromachi, new and splendid govern- 
ment offices for the Shogunate, which for that reason 
was from that time known as the u Shogunate of 
Muramachi." The chief official under the Shogun 


was the Kanrio, who although he possessed great 
power, did not gain so important a position as the 
Shikken had formerly had, for three rival families 
laid claim to the office of Kanrio. These families 
were the Shiba, Hosokawa and Hatakeyama, and 
they were known as the three Kanrio families. The 
rest of the officials were the same as those of the 
Shogunate of Kamakura. 

The district of Kamakura had now a certain im- 
portance of its own, for the first Shogun had estab- 
lished there a subordinate government for the family 
of his second son. The heads of that government 
were called Kamakura-Kanri5 or Kanto-Kanrio. 

Yoshimitsu provided for the fortification of the 
frontiers on the north and south. Instead of the 
usual governors he appointed Tandai in the frontier 
provinces who possessed special military authority. 
The administration of the other provinces lay, as 
under the Shogunate of Kamakura, in the hands of 

When Yoshimitsu became old, he abdicated, and 
was succeeded by his son, Yoshimochi. Yoshimitsu 
built himself a magnificent palace in the neighbour- 
hood of the capital on the Kitayama, 1 called Kinkaku, 
(i.e. golden, many-storied building). As " Lord of 
Kitayama " he lived in great splendour, and as was 
the custom of the Emperor after his abdication, never 
showed himself in public unless accompanied by a 
brilliant train of followers. He treated the imperial 
court officials as his servants. The Shogun also 

1 Kita = north : Yama = hill. 


adopted a similar luxurious way of living, 
resulted that the Shogun families, like the Fujiwara 
family of an earlier date, degenerated through luxury 
and dissipation so that the administration of govern- 
ment and the real power passed into the hands of the 



The eighth Shogun, Yoshimasa (1449- 1472), led a 
profligate and extravagant life, and cared little about 
administering the state. The disorder that resulted 
in the Empire encouraged the ambitious and power- 
ful general, Yamana Sozen, to attempt to gain a more 
important position for himself. With the concurrence 
of the Shogun, he began war on the wealthy and 
powerful family, Akamatsu, in 1441 ; he defeated them 
and enriched himself with their possessions. After 
this good fortune he ventured to oppose the Kanrio 
Hosokawa Katsumoto. He managed to make him- 
self agreeable to the Shogun's wife so that he was 
appointed guardian of her son who was a minor, and 
endeavoured to make him the future Sh5gun, although 
Shogun Yoshimasa had expressly determined that 
his own brother whose guardian was the Kanrio, 
Hosokawa Katsumoto, should be the next Shogun. 
The cause which was to turn the strained relations 
between Yamana Sozen and Hosokawa Katsumoto 
into open war was not long in arising. 


At the same time a bitter quarrel raged between 
the members of the Kanri5 family, Shiba, and the 
members of the KanriS family, Hatakeyama, as to 
which of the families was to be the future Kanrio. 
In 1467, the first of the Onin years, it came to open 
war with the Hatakeyama family. When the KanriS 
interfered in the struggle and declared himself on 
the side of one of the rival parties, Yamana SSzen 
put himself and all his power on the side of the 
other. Then the two parties of the Shiba family 
joined in the strife, one taking the side of the KanriS, 
the other of Yamana Sozen. And so the whole 
army and the whole land were involved in a civil war 
which lasted ten years. 

During the struggle, the capital was repeatedly 
set on fire. The fine temples and palaces were 
destroyed, and with them magnificent works of art 
and valuable manuscripts. The two generals, KanriS 
and Yamana Sozen, died in the course of the 
war, which only ended because the strength of both 
sides was utterly exhausted. 

A still bloodier civil war raged in the district 
of Kamakura. 

The Kamakura KanriS had, as time went on, be- 
come more powerful and arrogant. He claimed the 
same honours as those enjoyed by the ShSgun. 
Mochiuji, the greatgrandson of the first KantS 
KanriS, resisted the orders of the ShSgunate, and 
made a plan to throw off the supremacy of the 
capital, KiSto. When Uesugi Norizane, one of his 
nobles, warned him of the danger of such an attempt, 



he threatened him with death. Uesugi Norizane 
then revealed the plot of the insurrection to the 
Shogun. The Shogun sent a large army against 
Mochiuji which he was unable to withstand. He 
was defeated in the first battle and then committed 
suicide (1439). 

The Onin war now followed, into which Kamakura 
and its district was also drawn. 

After a long struggle, Uesugi Noritada, the son of 
Norizane, although he had himself held the office of 
a Kanto Kanrio, and had won some power for his 
family during the disorders, finally appointed 
Shigeuji, the son of Mochiuji, as Kanto Kanrio. 
But he cherished a distrust of his benefactor who 
had been responsible for his father's fall, and had 
him murdered, a deed which resulted in fresh 
violent struggles. The Uesugi family summoned 
their vassals and adherents against Shigeuji. He 
could not withstand their attacks ; he fled to the 
province of Shimosa and lived there at Koga where 
he built himself a small palace. He was thenceforth 
called Koga Kubo. The Uesugi family now ap- 
pointed Masatomo, brother of the 8th Shdgun, 
Yoshimasa, Kanto Kanrio, so that there were two 
rulers. The situation was made more complicated 
through the quarrel which broke out in the Uesugi 
family itself. It divided into two parties which 
fought against each other. One of them which was 
hostile to the new Kanto Kanrid, besieged the capital, 
Kamakura, and prevented the Kanrio from taking 
up his residence there. He therefore set up his 


dwelling place at Horigoe in the province of Izu, and 
was thenceforth called Horigoe Kubo. After a while 
he was murdered there by his eldest son, because he 
preferred his younger son. 

These disorders only ended when a distinguished 
man, Ise Naganji, (or Hojo Soun) came to the 
province of Izu. He defeated Masatomo's undutiful 
son and conquered the province of Izu and its 
neighbourhood, and as we shall see later, his family 
gained all the districts belonging to Kamakura. 



YOSHIMASA, the 8th Shogun, abdicated in order to 
give himself up to the extravagant life of pleasure, 
which he preferred to the serious business of govern- 
ment. He took up his residence in Higashiyama, 
in the eastern quarter of the capital, Ki5to, where he 
kept a court of great magnificence, the brilliance of 
which was long remembeied in the whole empire, 
and gave a name to the period. Yoshimasa built 
there a two-storied palace called Ginkaku. 3 He 
adorned the interior with manuscripts of songs 
artistically written, paintings and other objects of 
art, and there, among other things, the ceremonial 
tea-drinking took place. The extravagance of the 
court put a great strain on the financial resources of 
the country, and increased the people's burden of 
taxation. But nevertheless, the Ashikaga, despite 
their extravagant leanings, had their merits. They 
were warm patrons of the revival of the arts that 

1 Higashi = east, Yama=hill or mountain. 
* i.e. the silver, several storied building. 


took place at this time, strengthened the relations 
with China again, and in so doing especially con- 
sidered the financial advantages to themselves. 

Among the famous painters of this period, Sesshu, 
Kano-Masanobu, and his son Monotobu, deserve 
mention. Monotobu was the founder of a school of 
which the aim was to make a compromise between 
Chinese and Japanese painting. 

Chinese porcelain was also again introduced into 
Japan at this time ; since its former alliance with 
Japan, China had made great progress in that branch 
of manufacture. Artistic smith's work also flourished 
then in Japan ; a well-known artist of that kind was 
Got5 Yuj5. 

A new epoch began in architecture, for houses were 
built without windows. They had wooden outer walls, 
the panels of which could be removed, and were only 
fixed in at night ; but in the day-time doors were ar- 
ranged made of paper resembling glass which let in 
air and light. 

Among the poets of the period, the song writers 
Fujiwara Kanera and Ota D6kan must be named. 
Ota D5kan is one of the few poets of the order of 

Learning was confined almost entirely to the Budd- 
hist priests ; outside their ranks only the library of 
Kanazawa and the school of Ashikaga had any im- 


THE HEROIC AGE (1478-1573) 

THE settlement of the war of the Onin years and of 
the struggle for the supremacy of Kamakura, brought 
Japan no lasting peace. On the contrary, those 
struggles only formed the prelude to the bloody 
" Hundred Years' War." For the space of a hundred 
years, every part of the empire was torn by various 
struggles and feuds. It was a time when individual 
ability alone decided the issue. He who yesterday 
was merely one of the retinue of a great man, was to- 
day himself the ruler. It was the heroic age of Japan, 
a time of great deeds of brave knights. Four 
Emperors reigned during the hundred years' war : Go- 
Tsuchimikado-Tenno (1464-1500); Go-Kashiwahara- 
Tenno (1500-1526); Go-Nara-Tenn5 (1526-1557); 
and Ogimachi-Tenno (1557-1587). EUmngthe period — 
the families of the military nobility that had had the 
upper hand were almost annihilated, especially the 
Ashikaga family which had formerly been in posses- 
sion of the Shogunate. 

Let us now consider the fate of the central power 
during these struggles. 


The Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshitane, was banished by 
his Kanrio Hosokawa Masamoto. When a quarrel 
arose in the Hosokawa family, Ouchi Yoshioki, a great 
noble, who had remained faithful to the Shogun, suc- 
ceeded in bringing him back to the capital, and in 
deposing the Shogun, Yoshigumi, set up by the 
Hosokawa family. Ashikaga Yoshitane remained in 
possession of the Sh5gunate for thirteen years while 
Ouchi Yoshioki occupied a position in regard to him 
similar to that held formerly by the Shogun to the 

When after ten years Ouchi Yoshioki retired from 
office and returned home, the Hosokawa family again 
came into prominence ; it appropriated the office of a 
Kanri5 and deposed the Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshitane. 
His nephew, Ashikaga Yoshiharu, was now appointed 
1 2th Shogun. Under his reign strife once more 
broke out in the Hosokawa Kanrio family. Miyoshi 
Chokei, one of their vassals, attained great power 
during the strife, and became the real leader of the 
Kanrio office, and was in regard to the Kanrio, as the 
Kanrio to the Shogun and the Shogun to the Em- 
peror. Miyoshi Chokei was even able to depose the 
Shogun, and make his son, Yoshiteru, Shogun. 

After the death of Miyoshi Chokei. his vassal, Mat- 
sunaga Hisahide, came into possession of the real 
power, so that the noble families were dependent on 
their subordinates. Finally Matsunaga Hisahide 
murdered the Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, and ap- 
pointed his cousin, Ashikaga Yoshihide, Shogun. 

After his death Ashikaga Yoshiaki was appointed 


Shogun by Oda Nobunaga, a knight who had at- 
tained power through the struggles of the time. The 
Shogun tried to acquire independence, and to free 
himself from the guardianship of Oda Nobunaga. But 
Oda Nobunaga who held the actual power, deposed 
him, and sent him into exile. And therewith ended 
the Shogunate of the Ashikaga family (1573). For 
the next thirty years there was as a rule no Sho- 

Nevertheless, the imperial family remained in their 
old insignificant position. It had suffered as greatly 
as the Shogunate in the disorders. ^Al ready in. th e 
struggles of the Onin years the central government 
had not been able to ensure the regular collection of the 
taxes, and the Emperor fell into serious financial diffi- 
culties. The imperial palace was not kept in proper 
repair, the walls fell down, and the place that had 
hitherto been concealed from the sight of the people 
like a sanctuary, became accessible to all. As there 
was no longer feasting at court, the courtiers and high 
dignitaries wandered through the land and sought 
employment and shelter with the great nobles. When 
Go-Tsuchimikado-Tenno died, his family had not 
money enough to bury him, and were obliged to 
borrow the necessary funds from the military terri- 
torial nobility. His son, Go-Kashiwahara-Tenn5, 
could only defray the cost of the ceremonies connected 
with his accession by money supplied by the Buddhist 
priests. His son, Go-Nara Tenno, likewise, could 
only celebrate his accession by means of borrowed 
money. In order to provide for his support, he had to 


write songs for pay. As the purchasers might not 
look on the Emperor who was naturally worshipped 
as a descendant of the gods, they put the money with 
the commission behind a curtain of the palace, and 
after a while fetched the manuscript away. 

The real power of the government was not 
in the^capital, but in the country with the heroic 
Samurai and the great military lords who had risen 
up during the struggles that had destroyed the old 
families, and raised up new ones. 

One of these upstarts was H6j5 S5un or Ise 
Naganji, mentioned above, who had originally been a 
vagrant, then had entered the service of a DaimiS, and 
finally became an independent general. He con- 
quered two provinces, Izu (1491) and Sagami (1495). 
His son, Ujitsuna, overthrew the Oyumi Kubo, and 
extended the conquests made by his father to the 
provinces of Shim5sa, Kazusa and Awa. His son 
Ujiyasu overthrew the Koga Kub5 and gained the 
provinces of Musashi, Kozuke and Shimozuke. 
And so this Hojo family which was not related to 
the well-known Shikken Hoj5 family attained 
supremacy over wide domains in the plain of KantO. 

In the province of Kai, Takeda Shingen dis- 
tinguished himself by warlike deeds. He conquered 
the whole of the province of which his father had 
only possessed small portions, and won for himself 
also neighbouring districts. In the province of 
Echigo the warlike Uesugi Kenshin ruled ; he pitted 
himself against Takeda Shingen, and carried on a 
wearisome war, (1553- 1 564). They are both famous 


for the introduction of guns, which had been brought 
to Japan by Portuguese merchants in 1543. And 
the Japanese soon left off using bows and arrows, 
spears and swords. . 

In the province of Mutsu, Date Masamune, who 
had formerly been the vassal of a Daimio, rose to 
power. He lived in the town of Sendai. He is 
famous for sending an embassy to Philip III. of 
Spain, and to Pope Paul V. in 161 3. 

The Togashi family took the ruling place in the 
northern provinces. They succumbed, however, in 
the Shin-Shu, 1 a religious war that broke out among 
the Buddhists. 

The families Amako, Ouchi and Mori ruled in the 
west. Ouchi Yoshitaka reigned in the capital, 
Yamaguchi, which at that time also bore the name of 
Little Kioto. There, in 1550, Francesco Xavier 
founded a Jesuit settlement. Ouchi Yoshitaka 
himself embraced Christianity, and worked for its 
dissemination. But his efforts were ended by the 
hand of a murderer. Mori Motonari avenged the 
deed of violence. After the execution of the 
murderer, he conquered for himself all the possessions 
of the Ouchi family. Later he put down the Amako 
family and so became lord of ten provinces. 

Chosokabe Motochika was all powerful in the 
island of Shikoku, and in that of Kiushu the families 
Shimatsu, Otomo, and Riuzoji won supremacy. 
Otomo and Riuzoji were Christians and sent 
embassies to Rome and Spain. 

1 Called also Ikko-Shu. 


In the province of Owari the Oda family rose to 
power, and they were destined to have a distinguished 
future. As has been said, Oda Nobunaga put an 
end to the Ashikaga Shogunate. 

Before relating the further changes in the domestic 
affairs of Japan through the rise of the Oda family, 
we shall survey the relations of Japan at this time 
with foreign lands. 



THE Mongolian dynasty, the victorious advance of 
which in China has already been mentioned, reigned 
there for about ioo years. It was then driven out by 
a Chinese noble family, Shugensho, and from 1368 
was again confined to their native Mongolia. The 
ShugenshS founded the new dynasty Ming which 
reigned till 1 661, the year of the foundation of present 
reigning dynasty of China. 

Under the leadership of a powerful noble, named 
Riseikei, a rebellion broke out at that time in Korea 
against the reigning dynasty Ko-ryu (Korai). In 
1392, he founded the Chosen (or Chosun) dynasty 
known later as Kan, which reigned there until the 
annexation of Korea by Japan in 1910. 

As we have seen civil wars were then raging in 
Japan. It was the period when the imperial family 
was divided into the northern and southern dynasties. 
The fighting in Japan and the disorders in China and 
Korea through the change of dynasty, enabled 
pirates to pursue their activities unpunished in the 
south-west, and to gain increasing importance. 


They built a powerful war fleet and plundered the 
coasts of China and Korea. The fleet was well 
organised. It had flag-ships for the commanders, 
cruisers, light patrol boats and heavy battleships. It 
was strengthened by a number of Chinese pirates. 
They had a harbour for men of war in the island of 
Kiusiu ; the Japanese " inland sea M served as their 
headquarters. The governments of China and 
Korea were powerless against the pirates. Suddenly 
they appeared and plundered the coasts and the 
territory situated near the sea, and by the time an army 
of the government appeared, they had got off with 
rich booty. The Chinese and Koreans called the 
dreaded ships butterflies, on account of the long 
narrow fluttering flags with which they were 
decorated. They were completely masters of the 
coasts of China and Korea for more than 200 years, 
and their power only became weakened in the reign 
of the Emperor of China, Seiso (1 522-1 566). 

The first Sh5gun of the Ashikaga family who was 
a very zealous Buddhist built a ship in order, for the 
good of Buddhism, to enter into regular communica- 
tion with China, and to bring over thence Buddhist 
books, statues of Buddha and church vessels. 

His successors, as we have seen, cultivated relations 
with China for financial reasons. The 3rd ShSgun, 
Yoshimitsu, signed himself in letters as the faithful 
vassal of the Emperor of China, so as to save himself 
by his help from financial straits. 

When the power of the Ashikaga family waned, 
the Ouchi family which ruled in the town of Yama- 


guchi (in the province of Suo), continued commercial 
relations with China and became thereby very wealthy. 
It was now that the Portugese and Spaniards who 
were then masters of the sea and at the zenith of 
their power, first came to Japan. In 1543 Portugese 
merchants landed on the island of lahegashina, and 
were received in friendly fashion by the Daimio. 
They rewarded his hospitality with a gun, which was 
copied two years afterwards by a Japanese smith, and 
then brought into general use in the land under the 
name Tanegashina. Six years later, Francesco Xavier 
the Spanish Jesuit, landed at Kagoshima in the 
province of Satsuma. He spread the knowledge of 
Christianity, and gained many converts ; from Kago- 
shima he went to the island of Hirato, thence to the 
town of Hakata in the province of Chikuzen, and 
from there took his way to the town of Yamaguchi 
in the province of Suo. Everywhere he preached 
Christianity, and soon there were several Christian 
churches. He sought the capital, Kioto, with the 
intention of converting the Emperor and the Shogun 
to his faith. But in consequence of the prevailing 
disorder and fighting, he met with no success. The 
spread of Christianity was chiefly in the south-west 
of Japan. The importance of Portugese and Spanish 
influence in Japan at that time is shown by the fact 
that until the present day numerous Portugese and 
Spanish words have been retained in the Japanese 
language, e.g. saraca (a towel), savon (soap), capa 
(macintosh cloak), carta (cards), copo (glass), con- 
fetos (a cake), canequim (a towel), etc. 



I 59 8] 



We have already stated that after the fall of the 
Ashikaga family there was no Shogunate for thirty 
years. During that time a concentrated and active 
central government was lacking. The man who then 
occupied the most powerful position was Oda 
Nobunaga, who had destroyed the Ashikaga-Shogun- 
ate. He was once more to unite nearly the whole 
Empire under his rule without attaining the office of 
a Shogun. 

The Oda family was descended from the Taira. 
Originally they had been vassals of the Kanrio family, 
Shiba. Oda Nobuhide, Nobunaga's father, freed his 
family from that dependent position, and conquered 
a portion of the province of Owari. It should be 
noted that he maintained friendly relations with the 
imperial family. He placed money at the Emperor's 
disposal, and partly repaired the imperial palace. 
He was succeeded by his son, Oda Nobunaga, a man 
of great talents and high ambition. His first 
military feat was the overthrow of the Daimio, Ima- 
gawa Yoshimoto, who had already conquered three 



provinces, and was now attempting to destroy the 
Oda family. After the battle at Okehazama 1 No- 
bunaga had him beheaded. The victory founded his 
fame throughout the empire. He then allied himself 
with Tokugawa Ieyasu who had acquired great power 
in the east. After the defeat of the SaitS family, he 
erected a strong fortress in the province of Mino and 
henceforth resided there. 

Some time before, Ogimachi-Tenno had secretly 
asked him to restore the authority of the imperial 
throne. Ashikaga Yoshiaki, brother of the Shogun 
who had shortly before been murdered through the 
Matsunaga family, also requested him to take 
vengeance on the murderers and to appoint him 
Shdgun. In order to have a free hand for this under- 
taking, Nobunaga made peace with Takeda Shingen, 
the most powerful man in the east, and in 1568 
marched south to the capital, Kioto. Soon after his 
arrival, he overthrew the Matsunaga and Miyoshi 
families and made Ashikaga Yoshiaki Shogun. Then 
he had the imperial palace repaired and instituted a 
fixed annual income for the Emperor ; he also re- 
established the court ceremonials which in consequence 
of the Emperor's poverty had been in abeyance. 

Later he was victorious over the Asai and Asakura 
families at the Anegawa. 2 He burnt the temple of 
Enriakuji which gave shelter to an army of priests, 
and thus put an end to the arrogance of the power- 

1 Hazama= narrow valley. 
9 Kawa or Gawa=river, 


ful Buddhist priests who for five hundred years had 
recognised no authority over them, and had continu- 
ally pillaged the land. In order to diminish the 
secular power of the Buddhist priests, he supported 
Christianity to which he was himself soon converted. 

Ashikaga Yoshiaki whom he had appointed 
Shogun was jealous of the growing fame of Nobunaga 
and thought how he might overthrow him. But Oda 
Nobunaga got wind of his plans, and sent him into 
exile, and thus ended the Shogunate of the Ashikaga 

family (1573)- 

A few years later, in 1576, Nobunaga built a strong 
fortress, seven stories high, called Tenshu, in the 
province of Omi, on the Biwako. 1 Others soon 
imitated him, and before long all the greater Daimios 
possessed similar fortresses. 

But Nobunaga had not yet attained his goal : the 
conquest of the whole empire. The Mori family 
which had acquired great power in the south-west 
and owned there 10 provinces especially offered 
resistance. Nobunaga believed he could reduce 
them to obedience, and sent his general Toyotomi 
Hideyoshi against them with a large army, while he 
himself marched to the east in order to overcome the 
Takeda family. Hideyoshi was not equal to his 
task. He tried in vain to take the fortress Takamatsu. 
He asked Nobunaga for auxiliaries. Nobunaga had 
been successful, and having destroyed the Takeda, 
determined to go himself to Toyotomi's assistance 

1 Ko = lake, 


with his whole army. On the way to the seat of 
war, he spent the night in the temple of HonnSji in 
the capital, Kioto ; he was there attacked by one of 
his officers, Akechi Mitsuhide. He had been ordered 
to convey troops to Toyotomi, and thought it was an 
opportunity to avenge an insult once received by him 
from Nobunaga. Deprived of all hope of rescue, 
Nobunaga set fire to the temple, and then killed 
himself, and his eldest son followed his example. 
Thus perished this brave and wise man, at the age of 
48, when he was just on the point of uniting the whole 
Empire under his rule (1582). 

His death was lamented by his people, but the 
Buddhist priests rejoiced and declared that his tragic 
end was Buddha's punishment for his desertion of 
the ancient faith. 

But what Oda Nobunaga had accomplished was 
not wholly in vain. What he had begun was carried 
on by his chief officer, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was 
now the most powerful man in the Empire. 



Like so many great men of that time Toyotomi- 
Hideyoshi ' was of lowly birth. His father had been 
a poor peasant. When a boy of fifteen he had 
volunteered for the service of Oda Nobunaga who, 
with his keen insight into character, soon recognised 
his talents and made him a soldier and gradually 
advanced him to the post of chief officer. 

Hideyoshi received the news of his master's death 
when he lay before Takamatsu, the fortress of the 
M5ri family. He did not divulge the news, and 
concluded a favourable peace with the Mori family. 
Then he went against Nobunaga's murderer and 
defeated him at the battle of Yamazaki. 2 Nobunaga's 
family lived in the castle of Atsuchi, and after the 
victory negociations took place there between him, 
the family and the chief vassals, concerning the 
succession. He effected that the right of primo- 

1 His original name was Hiyoshimaru. He received the 
family name Toyotomi later from the Emperor. 
1 Yama » mountain . 


geniture which was firmly rooted in Japan should be 
adhered to, and that Nobunaga's year old grandson, 
son of the eldest son who had died with him, should 
be named successor ; the grown up sons of Nobunaga 
were passed over. Hideyoshi himself undertook the 
guardianship of the young heir during his minority. 

His powerful position evoked fear and envy, and 
rebellions soon broke out. 

The two most powerful vassals of the Oda family, 
Shibata Katsuie and Takigawa Katsumasu, first 
allied themselves against him, and they were joined 
by Nobunaga's third son. Hideyoshi defeated 
Shibata Katsuie in the battle of Shizugadake 1 (1583), 
and pursued him to his castle where he killed him- 
self. Nobunaga's son also killed himself after the 
battle. Takigawa Katsumasu later surrendered. 

Next year, Nabunaga's second son rebelled against 
Hideyoshi. He was supported in this rising by 
Tokugawa Ieyasu who with Oda was the most 
powerful Daimio. The two armies pitched their 
camps near Komakiyama. 2 They lay opposite each 
other for six months without hazarding a decisive 
battle. There were merely small skirmishes in which 
Ieyasu had the upper hand. Each of the two 
generals, Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu fully 
recognised the ability and strength of the other. 
They became more and more convinced that a 
decisive battle between them would ruin them both, 

1 Dake = mountain. 
9 Yama = mountain . 


while allied, they might gain the whole Empire. So 
a truce was made which soon developed into a 
friendly alliance, and Hideyoshi adopted Ieyasu's 
eldest son. Ieyasu subordinated himself to Hideyoshi 
who treated him always as if he had full equal rights. 
Each supported the other in all enterprises. 

Hideyoshi defeated one after the other, Chdsokabe 
Motochika, lord of the island of Shikoku, Sassa Nari- 
masa, a Daimio in the north of the empire and Shim- 
atsu Yoshihisa, a Daimio of the island of Kiusiu. 
Finally he destroyed Odawara, the stronghold of the 
Hojo family where they had dwelt for about a hun- 
dred years, utterly defeated the family, and took from 
them the eight provinces of the plain of Kanto that 
had submitted to them. Thus he ruled the whole of 
the Japanese Empire (1590). 

Hideyoshi had already built himself a splendid 
palace in the capital. He now had strong fortresses 
erected at the port of Osaka, and at Fushimi near 
Kioto, The Emperor, who joyfully welcomed the 
union of the Empire, loaded him with honours and 
visited him in his palace. Hideyoshi became Kam- 
baku, an office formerly held by the Fujiwara, and 
Dajddaijin (first chancellor). He could not attain 
the ardently desired office of Shogun, because he was 
not of noble birth. But that did not injure his 
powerful position which he tried to strengthen by 
a new organisation of government. He appointed 5 
Bugio who were responsible to him alone, and the 
old imperial ministers were as unimportant as ever. 
He had the whole country surveyed, and instituted 


new taxes. For the first time after more than 600 
years gold and silver coins were minted. Under 
Hideyoshi's strong hand, order prevailed in the 
land which had been in a state of anarchy for more 
than a century. 



WHEN Hideyoshi found himself the undisputed ruler 
of the whole Japanese Empire, he made plans for the 
conquest of neighbouring lands. The desire for con- 
quest and bold enterprises corresponded to the de- 
sire for fame and adventure that prevailed at the 
time. And memories of the pirates' bold deeds whose 
power had died out, and intercourse with Europeans 
encouraged men to look beyond their fatherland. 

Embassies were sent to Formosa, the Philippines 
and India to persuade those countries to recognise 
Japan's supremacy, and everything was prepared for 
a campaign against China with a view to the con- 
quest of that land. Hideyoshi invited the king of 
Korea to join him with his army and to act as his 
guide. The king preferred the supremacy of China, 
and refused the invitation. Therefore the conquest 
of Korea became the first objective. 

In order to be able to devote himself solely to that 
enterprise, Hideyoshi transferred the government of 
Japan to Hidetsugu's nephew whom he had adopted, 
and made him Kambaku. He himself abdicated, and 


thenceforth bore the title of Taig5, conferred on a 
Kambaku who had abdicated. 

A large army was assembled in the neighbourhood 
of the port of Nagoya in the province of Hizen on 
the island of Kiusiu. The land troops and the garis- 
son of the fleet comprised together 160,000 men. 
They went over to Korea from Nagoya. Hideyoshi 
remained behind with the reserve. 

Ukida Hideie was in command of the whole army, 
Konishi Yoshinaga and Kato Kiyomasa commanded 
the invading army. The troops under them fought the 
hostile forces "as easily as bamboos are split," and 20 
days after their landing, they marched in triumph into 
the capital, Seoul. The Kingof Korea fled to the north- 
west, to the Chinese frontier, and asked help of the 
Emperor of China. Konishi pursued him and took 
the old capital, Phyong-yang. Kato pursued the two 
royal princes who had fled to the north-east frontier, 
and took them both prisoners at Ham-gyung. 

The Emperor of China sent a large army under 
Soshokun to the king's assistance. But it, too, was 
speedily conquered by Konishi, and only a few strag- 
glers returned to their native land. A second Chinese 
army under the command of Yi-yu-Song (Rijiosho) 
fought at first with real success, and even won a 
victory over Konishi. But when it attempted to re- 
gain the capital, Seoul, the Japanese general Kobaya- 
kawa Takakage utterly routed it at Hekiteikan. 

After this victory of the Japanese, the Chinese 
ambassador Shinikei entered into negotiations with 
Konishi, and he and the Korean ambassador went to 


Hideyoshi's court where they agreed to the follow- 
ing preliminary treaty : Japan was to receive half of 
Korea ; a Japanese prince was to marry a Chinese 
princess, and henceforth there was to be friendly 
alliance between China and Japan. The two Korean 
princes were to be set at liberty. But the Chinese 
envoy did not communicate the articles of the treaty 
to his Emperor, who after a while sent an embassy to 
Hideyos"hi to make him King of Japan under Chinese 
supremacy. When the envoy told his message to 
Hideyoshi, he was exceedingly angry, and prepared 
a new army to fight against Korea and China. 

It landed in Korea in 1596. The campaign led to 
the famous battles on the mountain of Ulsan, and the 
brilliant victory of the Japanese at Shi-sen. Kato 
Kiyomasa, the Japanese general, was besieged by a 
Chinese army on the mountain of Ulsan. The Jap- 
anese suffered terribly from cold and hunger, but 
notwithstanding they were the victors in the end. 
The Japanese fleet, too, defeated the Koreans. Un- 
fortunately in 1598 Hideyoshi died. The Japanese 
army returned home, and these battles which had 
exacted the greatest sacrifices in life and property 
during six years, were absolutely unproductive for 





The death of Hideyoshi was naturally of great 
importance for the relations between the Toyotomi 
and the Tokugawa families. The good understanding 
that had existed between them during these last years 
came to an end. 

The Tokugawa family was descended from Mina- 
moto ; for many generations they had lived in the 
province of Mikawa where they had been helpful to 
the Imagawa family. When the Imagawa were over- 
thrown by Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu made 
his family independent, and allied himself with Oda 
Nobunaga who soon placed great trust in him. At 
Nobunaga's death Ieyasu already owned 5 provinces. 
We have seen how war broke out between him and 
Hideyoshi and how he made peace with him on 
account of his power and wisdom. When by the 
overthrow of the Hojo family, Hideyoshi gained 8 
provinces in the plain of Kanto, he presented those 
to him in place of his former possessions. Tokugawa 


Ieyasu resided at Edo, now TokiS. The fame of 
his virtues increased from day to day. 

Shortly before Hideyoshi's death one of the 5 
treasurers named Maeda Toshiie was appointed 
guardian of his son who was a minor. But he only 
held the post for a short time. After his death 
Tokugawa Ieyasu was the real head of the government. 

Vassals of the Toyotomi family like Ishida Mitsu- 
nari and others, were jealous of the growing power 
of the Tokugawa, and feared that they would once 
again outshine them and the Toyotomi family. They 
secretly collected together those minded like themselves 
and hatched a conspiracy. In 1600 Uesugi Kagekatsu, 
one of the leaders of the conspiracy, struck the first 
blow in his native place — Aizu — where he had 
assembled an army. Tokugawa left one of his officers 
at Kioto with a garrison, and proceeded himself with 
his sons and a large army against the rebels. But on 
the way he received the news that the vassals of the 
Toyotomi family had risen in his rear at Osaka, and 
that the general, Ishida Mitsunari, one of their 
adherents, was on the point of taking Kioto. He 
gave the leadership of the campaign against Uesugi 
Kagekatsu to his son, and with a portion of the troops 
hastened himself to the capital. Ishida Mitsunari 
opposed him with the whole of his army in the plain 
of Sekigahara. The adherents of the Toyotomi 
family numbered about 130,000 men, and Tokugawa 
Ieyasu's army 75,000. A battle ensued in which* 
both sides fought with great animosity. The result 
of the strife was that one of the leaders of the Toyotomi 


deserted in the midst of the struggle, and delivered 
the camp that he commanded to Tokugawa Ieyasu, 
and with all his forces turned against the Toyotomi. 
The battle ended in the utter rout of the Toyotomi 
and Ishida Mitsunari. The latter fled but was 
captured and killed. Uesugi Kagekatsu soon sur- 
rendered. The Toyotomi became the vassals of the 
Tokugawa ; only three provinces remained to them. 
Tokugawa Ieyasu's heart's desire, that his family 
should again hold the Shogunate, was fulfilled. 




Pace p. 145] 



AFTER the defeat of the Toyotomi the Emperor 
favoured the victorious Tokugawa Ieyasu. He con- 
ferred on him several titles of honour, recognised his 
descent from the Minamoto, and appointed him 
Shogun (1603). Ieyasu made Yedo — the present 
Toki5 — his capital and began the internal organization 
of his newly established rule with the enlargement of 
the city. 

His chief exertions were directed to ensure the 
lasting possession of the Shogunate to his family. 
Therefore he very soon abdicated in favour of his 
son Hidetada, and made him Shogun (1605). 

But he did not feel confident of the lasting supre- 
macy of his family, so long as the Toyotomi were in 
possession of considerable power, and he sought for 
an opportunity to accomplish their destruction. 
Shortly before his death he attained his desire. 

In 1614 he began the war on a trivial pretext. Of 
the faithful adherents who took up arms for the 
Toyotomi, Ono Harunaga deserves special mention. 
Ieyasu and his son, the Shogun, marched with a large 



army against the fortress of the Toyotomi at Osaka. 
Many fierce battles were fought round the stronghold 
which successfully kept off the enemy's attack. 
Therefore Ieyasu felt compelled to sue for peace, 
but with no honourable intention. He was only 
waiting for the summer in order to begin the war 
afresh. Accompanied by his son, he again marched 
with a large army to Osaka, and surprised the 
garrison. A final fierce struggle ended in the taking 
of the place by storm. Hideyori, Hideyoshi's son 
and his mother killed themselves. The victors burnt 
the fortress to the ground. So ended the Toyotomi 
family. Tokugawa Ieyasu attained his desire. 

The supremacy of his family was assured by the 
destruction of the Toyotomi, and peace was restored 
to the land which for more than 200 years had been 
a prey to incessant wars. For the next 200 years 
the state both at home and abroad was entirely free 
from strife. 

At the end of his life Ieyasu issued a law concerning 
the knights containing 13 articles which set forth 
their position and their duties, and also a decree with 
17 articles dealing with court life, and regulating with 
great detail the court ceremonials, the education and 
life of the princes, and the duties of the officials of the 
court 1 

1 The so-called 100 laws of Ieyasu do not emanate from him. 
They were the work of Yoshemune, the 8th Shogun, who in 
order to lend them a higher authority declared that they had 
already been written down by Ieyasu, but that he had not 
proclaimed them. 


The internal organization of the Tokugawa 
Shogunate was not finished by Ieyasu. It was only 
actually settled under Iemitsu, the 3rd Shogun. 

It was essentially more complicated than that of 
the former Shogunates. At the head of the whole 
administration stood the Tairo, the Grand Treasurer, 
the highest official under the Shogun. Below him 
came the board of the 5 R5chu, the treasurers. 
They controlled the imperial court officials and Daimio. 
Below the Board of the Rochu was the Board of the 
Wakadoshiyori ' the lesser treasurers, comprising from 
3 to 5 persons. They had control over the knights. 
The three departments held regular meetings together 
under the presidency of the Tairo. Under them 
again were the three Bugio in whose hands were the 
administration of finance, the municipal government 
of Yedo, and the control of the Buddhist and Shinto 
temples. The three highest departments of the 
Kioto-Shoshidai and the rest of the Bugio came 
below them again. They were : the Machi Bugio of 
Kioto (imperial capital), of Osaka (an important port, 
and formerly the residence of the Toyotomi family), 
and of Sumpu (residence of the first Shogun who had 
abdicated) and the Bugio of Nagasaki and Sakai (chief 
towns for foreign trade), of Yamada (town of the 
celebrated temple of Amaterasu-Omikami), of Nara 
(formerly the imperial capital), of Nikko (where the 3rd 
Shogun built a temple to Ieyasu in which he enj eye 
divine honours) etc. 

1 Waka = young, Toshiyori or Doshiyori = Rochu. 


Ieyasu reformed the feudal system in a wise and 
thorough fashion. 

The existing Daimios, over 260 in number, were 
divided into three classes. The first formed the 
Shim pan : they were feudal princes who were related 
to the Shogun. The second class formed the Fudai, 
feudal princes who held their lands as fiefs from the 
Shogun. The third class was the Tozama, feudal 
princes who were brought into subjection by the 

The last class were in the majority. In order to 
protect himself for ever from their rebellions, Ieyasu 
settled the Shimpan in the most important districts, 
e.g. his sons received extensive territories in the 
provinces adjacent to the two capitals. He always 
placed the Fudai near the Toyama so that they might 
act as a guard to the latter, keep them apart, and render 
rebellion futile. When a noble family became extinct 
he took possession of their territory as vacant lands. 

Later Iemitsu enacted the harsh revolutionary 
law that the wife and family of every Daimio must 
live permanently in the town of Yedo, where they 
served the Shogunate as hostages. And each Daimio 
had to spend every other year in Yedo with a fixed 
number of his Samurai. The sojourn there, especially 
as they had to defray the expenses of their companions 
was extremely costly for the Daimio, and led to their 
impoverishment, a result desired by the Shogunate 
in order to preserve peace in the land. 

Ieyasu tried to preserve friendly relations with the 
imperial family. He settled a fixed income on the 


Emperor of 10,000 Koku of rice. 1 He and his 
successors paid him all possible honour, but at the 
same time took care that he should not acquire any 
actual power. As has already been said, they 
appointed a Shoshidai for Kioto whose duty it was 
always to watch over the imperial family. The 
2nd Shogun, Hidetada, married his daughter to 
Gomitsunoo-Tenno. She bore him a daughter who 
succeeded to the throne as Empress, since Gomitsunoo- 
Tenno disliked the manner in which the Shogun 
oppressed him, and abdicated. The accession of a 
princess was very rare in Japan. It had not happened 
for more than 860 years, and now only through the 
distinguished position of the Tokugawa family 
which became of still greater importance during the 
reign of this princess of their blood. 

1 About 44 gallons. 



The establishment of the Tokugawa Sh5gunate 
marks the zenith of the feudal age. We have to 
survey a period the history of which is almost only 
the history of the Buke class, of the great military 
families of the DAimiS and their vassals, the Samurai. 
The supremacy of that class is most clearly seen in 
the political organization now introduced by the 
Tokugawa and which procured a long period of peace, 
and in the laws which they decreed and administered. 

In name the Emperor and the Kuge, the nobility 
who were his inferiors, still continued to hold a 
lofty and divine position. But in reality they had 
no influence in political affairs, were of no importance 
at all, and spent their lives in strict seclusion. 

The people at this time occupied a very subordinate 
position. All the land, and all the towns belonged 
to the Shogun and the DaimiSs. The peasants had 
to rent the land from them and to pay heavy tribute 
out of their produce. The inhabitants of the towns, 
the artisans and merchants, held a still lower place. 
Neither the peasants nor the townsfolk were 

Imperial Official (Kuge) 
In Court Dress 

[Face p. 15d 


bondsmen or serfs, but they had very few privileges 
and very little liberty. 

This is the age of the Buke. 

In the course of the last centuries so fertile in 
great struggles and heroic deeds of chivalry, the 
ruling class of knights was distinguished by its own 
special code of morals and practical outlook on life, 
and had evolved a system of ethics of its own known 
by the term "Bushido." 1 

Bushido demanded sincerity and truthfulness from 
the Samurai. Treacherous actions and crooked ways, 
lies and duplicity were reckoned a great disgrace. 
The word of a Samurai was so highly esteemed, that 
a written promise was held to be unworthy of him. 

The Bushi was trained from earliest youth to be 
courageous, and to endure pain, privation and hard- 
ship. The nurse related to the child the great deeds 
of his ancestors. At night the youth had to visit 
gloomy spots, places of execution, churchyards, etc., 
in order to prove his fearlessness. In times of peace, 
tournaments and jousts in which he could demonstrate 
his courage formed the chief employment of a Bushi. 
To yield his life on the field of battle was regarded as 
supreme happiness and honour. 

The knight was not allowed to betray in his face joy, 
sorrow, or any kind of emotion. It was considered 
to be incompatible with the absolute self-control that 
was required of him. To shed tears was reckoned a 

1 i.e. way of the Bushi, the knights. Cf. Professor Nitobe's 
admirable book " Bushido, the soul of Japan," Tokio, 1905. 


disgrace. He might not also give expression to his 
feelings in words, a relief permitted only to poets. 
The Bushi must not embrace his son in the presence 
of others, nor kiss his wife. The self-control of the 
knight is best illustrated by the curious method of 
suicide among the Japanese. 

The suicide of a knight — Harakiri, also called 
Seppuku and Kappuku — consisted in ripping up the 
stomach. To kill himself in any other way was dis- 
graceful and unworthy of a knight. A man could 
only honourably put an end to his life in this painful 
manner. A knight could even redeem his tarnished 
honour by Harakiri. 

The knight showed absolute equanimity when 
inflicting on himself this terrible kind of self-murder. 
As witnessed by European eyes, he grasped his 
dagger with his left hand without the slightest sign of 
excitement, drove it in below the navel, on the left 
side, without changing a muscle of his face, drew it 
along to the right side, turned it in the wound and 
made a cut upwards. During the time of the 
Tokugawas, Harakiri was also used as a punishment. 
It was considered a great favour if anyone, instead of 
being executed, was condemned to so honourable a 
death. Harakiri was a solemn, ceremonial act, 
executed in the presence of witnesses. 

But the knight did not only practice these severe 
virtues, Bushido taught him to develop the softer 
stirrings of his heart. 

To love and honour his parents was one of the 
highest duties of the knight. The Bushi must 

Samurai and His Servant 


[Face p. 152 


always be just and fight for the cause of justice. The 
greatest bravery counted as nothing if the cause wa~ 
a bad one, The Bushi must have compassion o ft 
the weak, the oppressed, and the conquered ; it wa^ 
considered a great disgrace for a warrior to enter into 
an unequal contest with a younger or weaker 
adversary and overthrow him. 

Above all the knight must be distinguished from 
an ordinary man by his politeness and refined 
conduct. He was bound by strict social rules in his 
intercourse with his fellows which assured the out- 
ward expression of sympathetic consideration for the 
feelings of others. Later, politeness and courtesy 
came to be regarded by foreigners as a typical Japanese 
trait. A refined and thorough system of etiquette 
was practised in knightly circles. The greatest care 
was taken to learn and to teach how to bow, to walk 
and sit. Behaviour at meals was a science ; tea- 
drinking was a real ceremonial. The essential quality 
of the etiquette is expressed in the following sentences 
by one of its leading spirits : This is the aim of all 
etiquette : you must learn to demean yourself in such 
a way that the roughest rascal would not dare to 
attack your person even if you sit still." 

The highest duty of the Samurai was loyalty to 
his master. He must be ready to give his life for 
him at any moment. He must even sacrifice the lives 
of his children for his master's sake. 

But it is not to be thought that the relation of the 
Samurai to the Daimio was that of a slave to a tyrant. 
The master was under equal obligation to keep faith 


with his Samurai, and to care for him as for himself. 
He was in the position of a father of a family. The 
obedience of the Samurai was voluntary, not com- 
pulsory. It was an unknightly act for a Samurai to 
execute any order of his lord that did not correspond 
with his conviction. In such cases he had to warn his 
master, and try to persuade him. To act against his 
conscience was not in accordance with the teaching 
of Bushido. If the loyalty of a Samurai to his 
master conflicted with his conscience, his only 
resource was to commit suicide. 

The consciousness of the personal dignity and 
worth of the Samurai rested on all these virtues, on 
them rested his honour. Honour was the most 
valuable possession of the Samurai, and he would 
joyfully give his life for it. If he injured his honour, 
he forfeited his existence as a Bushi. Harakiri 
offered the only means of retrieving his honour. 

Apart from Harakiri, the code c/f honour of the 
Japanese knight differs most from that of European 
chivalry in regard to the position of women. 

Women held a lower position in Japanese than in 
European chivalry. While to defend the honour of 
a woman, to reverence her womanly virtues, and to 
cultivate purely feminine qualities in her were essential 
elements in European chivalry, in Japan the woman 
was trained in warlike courage. She, too, had to 
learn to control her feelings, to harden her nerves, and 
to use arms. She learned to swing the Naginata, the 
long-handled sword, and from early youth was 
always armed with a dagger (Kai-ken). It was 

Samurai in Ceremonial Dress 

(Pace p. 154 

Knights Exercising 

Face p. 155] 


considered that this warlike education better enabled 
a woman to bring up her children to be brave. 

This system of ethics soon spread beyond the 
class of the Buke, and penetrated through the whole 
nation. Bushido was the code of honour for all 
educated Japanese. 

The spirit of chivalry and the general culture of 
the feudal period were of great importance for the 
future of the Japanese people. It is chiefly due to 
them that the Japanese were able, later, so quickly 
to take a place on a level with the rest of the 
civilized world. 



When Tokugawa Ieyasu had firmly established his 
supremacy over the whole Japanese empire, he did 
not, like Toyotomi Hideyoshi, think of foreign con- 
quest ; he confined himself to depriving the king of 
Riukiu of the supremacy he exercised over several 
small islands in the south of Japan. Otherwise he 
took care to live in peace with his neighbours, and 
to encourage commercial relations with them. He 
brought about a peace between the Daimio of the 
island of Tsushima situated near Korea, and Korea, 
and restored trade with that country. The relations 
of the two governments were friendly. When a new 
Shogun succeeded, the king of Korea sent an em- 
bassy to Yedo to offer his congratulations. Ieyasu 
also sought to set up friendly relations with the 
Chinese government, but it did not make a ready 
response, yet all the same, active commercial inter- 
course arose between Chinese and Japanese 

At this time, too, the Dutch and English first came 
into contact with Japan ; Portugese and Spaniards 

Korean Embassy 



were the only Europeans who had before visited 
Japan. In 1600 a Dutch ship was driven by 
contrary winds to Japan. Among others on board 
were the Dutchman Jan Josten and the Englishman 
William Adams. Ieyasu gave them a kind reception 
in Yedo, asked for information about Europe, and 
kept them at court as advisers. The name of a 
street in Tokio keeps alive their memory to this day. 
In 1609 a Dutch embassy arrived and with the 
ShSgun effected the establishment in the name of 
the Dutch government of regular trade between the 
two countries, and received permission to build a 
factory on the island of Hirato. In 161 3 the 
English came, and they also were allowed to build 
a factory at Hirato. But they found the Dutch 
competition too strong for them, and soon withdrew^ 
especially as they had discovered a richer field of 
action in India. 

Under the guidance of William Adams, the 
Japanese learned to build ships in the European 
manner, and undertook voyages to foreign lands. 
There arose regular lines of ships to Amakawa, now 
Makao in China, to Annan, Java, the Philippines, 
India, etc. In 1610 Japan sent the first ship to 
Mexico (Nova Hispania), and it soon became usual 
for Japanese ships to sail the Pacific Ocean. 

Motives of religion also took Japanese ships to 
Europe at this period. Already in 1582 (the 10th 
Tensho year) the Daimi5s of Omura, Arima, and 
Otomo fitted out a ship which sailed through the 
Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope to 


Spain where these Japanese Catholics paid a visit 
to Philip II. From Spain they went to Rome and 
visited the Pope. It was 8 years before they re- 
turned to their homes. In 1613 the Christian 
Samurai, Hasekura Tsunenaga and 6 companions, 
was sent by his master, Date Masamune, on a 
voyage to Europe. Contrary to the earlier embassy 
he sailed over the Pacific Ocean, visited the Governor 
of Mexico, and then sailed round South America, 
and across the Atlantic to Spain and Rome. He 
returned to Japan in the 7th year. 

The merchant service was at this time under 
the charge and protection of the Shogunate. Every 
merchant vessel had to carry a certificate of per- 
mission from the Shogunate. They were called 
■Toshuinsen 1 after the certificate. 

The love of adventure of the Japanese knights was 
stirred by long voyages to distant lands, and there 
are many stories of heroic deeds performed by 
Japanese adventurers in foreign countries at this 

Yamada Nagamasa, a knight of the province of 
Suruga, went to Siam, where already about 8,000 
Japanese merchants were living, entered the service 
of the king, and became commander-in-chief of 
the Siamese army. On behalf of his master, he 
conquered a large part of eastern India for the 
Siamese kingdom. The king gave him his daughter 
in marriage, and presented him as a fief with a part 

1 Sen = ship, Shuin = red stamp, Go = sign of politeness. 


of his kingdom. When the king died, leaving a son 
who was a minor, Yamada Nagamasa became 
guardian for his brother-in-law, the young king, and 
as such ruled over the whole kingdom. But the 
Siamese hated him because he was a foreigner, and 
poisoned him. 

A Ronin, l Hamada Yahei, went with his brothers, 
and his son and a few Samurai to Formosa in order 
to take vengeance on the Dutch governor who had 
continually attacked and plundered Japanese ships. 
They disguised themselves as peasants and landed, 
behaving as if they intended to settle there as 
colonists. They surprised the governor's palace, 
took him prisoner, seized the valuable treasures, and 
returned with them to their native land. 

Teiseiko accomplished daring deeds in foreign 
lands, and was the hero of many adventures ; his 
mother was Japanese, his father Chinese. He went 
to China when the Manchurians made their 
momentous attack, and the former Chinese imperial 
family of Ming was overthrown by the Manchurian 
dynasty of Tsching which still reigns in China. He 
put himself at the head of the Chinese party of 
opposition to the new dynasty, and gathered a large 
number of Chinese troops round him, and from time 
to time obtained much success. He brought the 
whole of the country south of the Yang-tse-Kiang 
into his power, but finally he was compelled to leave 
China chiefly because the government of the 
Shogunate left him without help. He went to the 

1 A Samurai who had lost his master. 


island of Formosa, expelled the Dutch and made 
himself king. After his death, he was succeeded by 
his son and his grandson, and his family governed 
the island for more than 30 years. But in 1683 his 
grandson succumbed to a Chinese attack. 

In consequence of the missionary efforts of the 
Jesuits active relations between Japan and foreign 
lands did not last long. 



The coming of Francesco Xavier to Japan in 1549 
resulted in a continuous activity of the Roman 
Catholic missionaries. Oda Nobunaga, especially, 
furthered the spread of Christianity. He built a 
church at Kioto which quickly became important 
and was soon recognized as the principal church of 
the Japanese Christians. It was called Nan Banji. 
From that time the new faith spread quickly 
through the provinces adjacent to the capital. 
Many of the Daimios became Christians, and assumed 
Christian names. The Dominicans, Augustinians, 
and Franciscans, following the example set by the 
Jesuits, founded settlements in different parts of the 
Empire, and carried on their missionary work with 
great zeal. According to one account the Christians 
increased to half a million, according to another, even 
to a million and a half. 

But a thorough set back soon occurred. 

The Daimios, whom the Jesuits had converted to 

1 Nan=southerly, Ban=barbarians, Ji=church. 



their faith, became infected with the spirit of the 
inquisition and began to persecute those of their 
vassals who refused to become Christians. And 
therefore they aroused the hatred* of the tolerant 
Japanese people. It seemed almost certain that the 
Jesuits had it in mind to bring the Japanese Empire 
under Spanish rule. In any case they awoke the 
suspicion of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and particularly of 
the far-sighted Tokugawa Ieyasu, who forbade the 
farther spread of Christianity. 

But the active commercial relations of Japan with 
Europe rendered it easy for the Jesuits, in spite of 
the prohibition, to enter the country disguised as 
merchants and prosecute their activities. Therefore 
Hidetata, Ieyasu's successor, decided that all prose- 
lytizers should be put to death. 

Iemitsu, the 3rd Shogun, finally forbade all 
commercial intercourse with foreign lands. Portu- 
gese merchants were banished for ever. Only the 
Dutch who carried on no missionary work and were 
known to be enemies of the Jesuits, were permitted 
to continue trading. Great cruelty was practised 
towards the native Christians. They were crucified, 
burnt, starved, or executed in other sorts of cruel 
ways by thousands. 

The rebellion of the Christians on the island of 
Amakusa in 1637 was connected with these 
measures of the government. Masuda Tokisada 
whose father had been a deadly foe of the Tokugawa 
family, was the leader of the rising. Masuda 
Tokisada shared his father's feelings, and at the 

Jesuits in Japan 


same time cherished the ambition of making himself 
an independent prince over a larger part of the 
Empire. In order to gain the people's support, he, 
by means of all sorts of cunning devices and miracles 
which he had learned from the Europeans, gave 
himself out as God, and was supported by the 
Christians whom he instigated to rise against the 
hostile Shogunate. He soon conquered the whole 
island of Amakusa, allied himself with the inhabitants 
of the peninsula of Shimabara, murdered its governor 
and with 37,000 men occupied the fortress of Hara. 
The Shogunate sent an army against him under 
General Itakura Shigemasa. He was unsuccessful, 
fell later into disfavour, and sought and found death 
in battle. His successor, Matsudaira Nobutsuna, 
subdued the rebellious province. Masuda Tokisada 
was executed, and a terrible massacre of the 
Christians took place. 

After this war, the government took thorough 
means to prevent the revival of Christianity in the 
land. Large rewards were publicly offered every- 
where for the denunciation of a Christian. The 
authorities in town and country were ordered to use 
all possible means of tracking out Christians. If a 
Christian was seized, two courses were open to him : 
to return to Buddhism or to die. To the end of the 
Tokugawa Shogunate there was a decree in all 
districts suspected of Christianity that every new 
born child must, within a fixed period after his birth, 
trample upon a crucifix. Intercourse with Europe 
was strictly forbidden. European books were not 


allowed to be introduced into the land. All the 
ports were closed. But Nagasaki remained open to 
the Dutch. 

The government made great sacrifices in order to 
prevent the Christianizing of the country. They sacri- 
ficed in most cruel fashion the lives of many subjects, 
and renounced the advantages accruing from their 
flourishing trade with foreign lands. They were not 
actuated by intolerance or by hatred of the foreigner, 
but believed that they owed these sacrifices to the in- 
terests of the state. And in fact it was a matter of 
the greatest importance for the political life and the 
civilization of Japan. How different would have been 
its future if the Jesuits had won over the whole land 
to Catholicism, and similarly the Christianizing of 
.Japan would have reacted on European affairs. 





Ieyasu's son and grandson were worthy of their pre- 
decessor. They were capable rulers and completed 
the administrative reforms begun by Ieyasu. The 
government of the 4th Shogun was also at first 
very successful, for he had an excellent treasurer. 
That he, himself, however, was a weak ruler, became 
evident after the deaths of his trusty counsellors, Mat- 
sudaira Nobutsune and Abe Tadaaki. The 5th 
Sh5gun, Tsunayoshi ( 168 1- 1709), brother of the 4th 
Shogun, showed little interest in or understanding of 
the task of administration, but he was distinguished 
for his learning, and promoted art and science. 

Under Ieyasu's rule the teaching of Confucius had 
undergone a revival. His adviser, Hayashi Doshun, 
was a zealous advocate of it. Under Tsunayoshi, the 
fifth Shogun, Nobuatsu, Hayashi Doshun's grandson, 
was appointed Daigaku-no-kami, 1 with the statement 

1 i.e. Director of the University of Yedo which bears the 
name Daigaku. 


that the office should become hereditary in his family. 
So the Daigaku became the headquarters of Confucian- 
ism, and produced many famous men. The Con- 
fucians were divided into three different schools, the 
heads of which were respectively Hayashi Daigaku- 
no-kami, Nakae Toju and It5 Jinsai. 

Science and literature flourished among the fol- 
lowers of Confucius, and were honoured and promoted 
under the Tokugawa Shogunate. Keichu, a Buddhist 
priest, occupied himself with classical Japanese litera- 
ture; Kitamura Kigin studied mediaeval Japanese 
writings and the Japanese script, and wrote com- 
mentaries on Japanese literary works. These studies 
were the forerunner of a gieat revival of the classical 
literature of Japan which was to take a large part in 
the intellectual and political reorganization of the 
Japanese nation. 

The feudal prince of Mito, son of Ieyashu's 
youngest son, wrote his " Dainihonshi," i.e., a history 
of great Japan ; it begins with the time of the first 
Emperor and goes up to Go-Daigo-Tenno, the 96th 
Emperor, and explains the Japanese forms of govern- 
ment. The work awoke an historical sense, and is, as 
we shall see, the origin of the movement for restoring 
the power of the Emperor. 

Chikamatsu Monzaimon was a celebrated dramatist 
of this time. Among the song writers, Matsuo Basho 
was most prominent, and he introduced a new metre 
of lines of seventeen feet into the literature. During 
the long period of peace, the artistic and serene tem- 
perament of the Japanese came more to the front. 


Great care was given to fine clothes, beautiful utensils 
and valuable jewellery. New kinds of amusement 
were introduced. The Japanese opera N5 came into 
being, the Japanese Cabaret, Joruri, and the Japanese 
theatre, Shibai. 

Painting flourished exceedingly. Kano Tanniu, 
Tosa Mitsuoki, Iwasa Matabei and Hishikawa Moro- 
nobu were among the celebrated painters ; the two 
last founded a new school, the Ukiyoe, who took the 
proceedings of daily life for the subjects of their work, 
while formerly only landscapes and portraits had been 
painted. Ogata Korin must also be mentioned, after 
whom the Korin school was named. 

Yedo, the capital of the Shogunate, which was be- 
coming more and more a great city, was the centre 
of political and intellectual life. The Shoguns made 
good roads from the town out into the country. The 
5th ShSgun established a regular line of shipsfrom Yedo 
to the provinces of Mutsu and Dewa, and he made 
numerous canals which intersected the city. He also 
built an aqueduct which provided the town with water 
from the river Tamagawa. 

The river Yodo that flows into the sea at Osaka, 
was made navigable far inland. 

The peace which the Tokugawa Shogunate gave 
Japan resulted in the beginning of general economic 
progress. The people were able to recover from the 
great exhaustion consequent on the long wars of the 
Kamakura and Ashikaga period. Yet the reign of 
the 5th Shogun was not suited in many respects to 
forward the development that was going on. His 


personal merit lay solely in the realms of science and 
art. The establishment of new lines of communica- 
tion under his rule is to be ascribed rather to in- 
dividual officials of capability than to him. He himself 
took little interest in the business of government. 
His extravagant court ruined the finance of the state. 
His need of money led him to have the coins of the 
Keicho years melted down, and replaced by a new 
coinage of less value. The new coins which contained 
only half the amount of real metal of the former ones, 
decreased in value, and so large classes of the people 
were injured. His successors therefore won all the 
more merit in the Japanese Empire. 




The next Sh5gun, Ienobu ( 1709-17 12), nephew of his 
predecessor, made Arai Hakuseki the celebrated 
scholar and statesman, his adviser. He retained the 
office with Ienobu's successor. Arai Hakuseki set 
himself to remedy the principal evil of the government 
of the 5th Shogun : the worthless coinage. He 
gradually called in all the bad coins and had new 
ones of full value minted. In order to prevent the 
country from being too much drained of gold and 
silver by the Dutch, the importation of European 
goods was limited. He effected that there should be 
more outward recognition of the dignity of the Sho- 
gunate : that is to say the custom of stating at the 
ceremony on the reception of the royal ambassador 
from Korea, that his master held a higher rank than 
the ShSgun, fell into abeyance. Also by his advice 
the custom introduced by Ieyasu that only the suc- 
cessor to the throne and the three Miya, the three 
branch lines of the Imperial house, should found 
families, and all the rest of the princes and princesses 
should spend their days in Buddhist monasteries, was 


abandoned. So Prince Naohito, son of Higashiyama- 
Tenno (1686- 1709), founded a family of his own, the 
Kanin-no-miya, 1 from which the present Emperor of 
Japan is descended. 

Ietsugu (1713-1716), the 7th Shogun, died without 
issue. The 8th Shogun was Yoshimune (17 16- 1745), 
great-grandson of Ieyasu and son of the Daimio of 
Kii. He had a quiet and prosperous reign, preferred 
a simple court life, and encouraged economy through- 
out the Empire. He especially sought to check the 
extravagant life of the Samurai, and to lead their 
thoughts again to military exercises. 

He was zealous to increase the production of the 
soil. Oranges were cultivated in the province of Kii 
at this time, tobacco in the provinces of Satsuma and 
Hidachi, and salt was gathered on the banks of the 
inland sea ; the cultivation of the vine made great 
advancement in the province of Kai. Yoshimune 
also planted a kind of potato in the plain of Kanto, 
and the sugar-cane on the island of Shikoku. He 
encouraged textile industries, and founded botanical 
gardens and a sanatorium at Yedo. 

He understood men, and recognised talent in his 
officials. He raised Ooka Todasuke from a subordin- 
ate post to be mayor of Yedo (Edo-machi-bugio) and 
finally made him a Daimi5. With his help he carried 
out important reforms in the administration of justice; 
the so-called 100 articles of Ieyasu are the result of 
his energy. 

1 Miya = imperial family. 


Yoshimune was himself a good scholar ; he was a 
student of astronomy and invented astronomical 
instruments. He invited Muro Kiuso, a distinguished 
student of Chinese literature to his court, and com- 
missioned him to write ethical books for the people. 
He also sought the society of Ogiu Sorai who was 
celebrated for his knowledge of Chinese literature. 
It was at this time of the encouragement of learning 
that the revival of the classical literature of Japan 
began with Kada Azumamaro, of which we shall treat 
later in greater detail. Yoshimune even turned his 
attention to European culture. He allowed one of 
his officials at Nagasaki to learn Dutch, and removed 
the prohibition on the importation of European books. 
From that time Dutch began to be more and more 
studied, and thus the influence of European learning 
began to penetrate gradually into Japan, especially 
in the departments of medicine and of the arts of war. 
But Yoshimune feared a closer alliance with Europe, 
chiefly from conservative leanings, and reverence for 
the laws of his ancestors. But another cause was 
fear of a renewal of the missionary activity of the 
Jesuits and of the conspiracies of Japanese Christians 
supported by the Catholic powers, and of the Spanish 
desire for conquest. The Dutch, naturally, did 
nothing to prevent the exclusion of Europeans, as 
they greatly desired to keep the Japan trade entirely 
to themselves. 



The 8th Shogun, Yoshimune, was succeeded by his 
son Ieshige (i 745-1 762). He was sickly and a weak 
ruler and his reign was marked by many abuses. He 
was succeeded by his son Ieharu (1762- 1786) who 
left the business of state to his two favourites, the 
treasurer, Tanuma Okitsugu, and his son Okitomo. 
Both were avaricious place-hunters who accepted 
bribes, and farmed the taxes and greatly injured the 
government and the authority of the Shogunate. 
During their reign the land was assailed by dire 
natural events such as floods, earthquakes, conflagra- 
tions and volcanic eruptions. The government took 
no measures to alleviate the distress, and a universal 
oppressive famine was the result. Hatred of the two 
favourites grew more bitter, and at last Okitomo was 
murdered in the Shogun's palace, and his father 
Okitsugu had to abdicate. 

Ieharu died without issue in 1786 and was succeeded 
by Ienari (1786- 1838), the grandson of a younger 
son of Yoshimune. 

As Ienari was very young, his relative, Matsudaira 
Sadanobu, the treasurer, an admirable statesman, 


governed for him. With his reign Japan entered on 
a happier period, and as there was then a very clever 
Emperor, KSkaku-Tenno (1780-18 17), the age is 
generally spoken of as that of the wise Emperor in the 
west (Ki5to), and of the clever treasurer in the east 
(Yedo). Matsudaira Sadanobu carried on the plans 
and efforts of the 8th Shogun, Yoshimune. He 
pursued a policy of economy, and tried particularly 
to dissuade the Samurai from their extravagant and 
luxurious way of living, and to induce them to pay 
their debts. He encouraged science and education, 
and promoted universities and schools. He kept up 
good relations with the imperial court, and built a 
new palace for the Emperor. 

He abdicated after 6 years, and Ienari who was 
now of age, took over the government himself. The 
Emperor appointed him Dijodaizin. This was the 
end of the brilliant period of the Tokugawa Shogunate. 

Famous painters like Maruyama Okio and 
Katsushika Hokusai flourished at this time. 
Literature was also of great excellence, especially in 
the domain of fiction. The people reached a high 
level of cultivation through a well developed system 
of elementary schools. That education was soon to 
prove of great practical importance ; the nation was 
now ripe to take part in the great political questions 
which were acute at this time. 

Ienari abdicated in 1838 after a reign of over 50 
years. His descendants were unable to ward off the 
attacks which had for some time been preparing 
against the authority of the Shogunate. 



The revival of learning during the peace that reigned 
under the Tokugawa Shogunate, resulted, as we 
have already indicated, in the renaissance of the old 
classical literature of Japan. In the time of the 8th 
Shogun (1716-1745), Kada Azumamaro awoke 
interest in the Kojiki, the oldest work of importance, 
the Homer of the Japanese, in which the divine 
descent and the first great deeds of the Japanese 
Emperors were celebrated. His studies were carried 
on by his pupil, Kamo Mabuchi. But Kamo Mabuchi's 
pupil, Motoori Norinaga went farther than the others, 
and his work was the commentary of the Kojiki held 
now as representative. He there describes the ancient 
form of government, demonstrates especially how the 
Japanese imperial family has reigned uninterruptedly 
from the earliest times, and he awoke the con- 
sciousness of the Japanese people to the ancient 
honour and dignity of the imperial dynasty. He 
had a distinguished pupil, Hirata Atsutane, who was 
the reformer of the old ancestor-worship which from 


this time onward was called Shintoism. These four 
men were called the four Ushi 1 of Shintoism. Their 
writings were very widely read, and they found 
everywhere enthusiastic disciples and pupils. 

This activity in matters of historical learning had 
great practical results. The opinion became general 
that the Emperor must be restored to his ancient 
power and position, and that the authority of the 
Shogunate which really rested on usurpation, must 
be destroyed. To advocate this course the historian 
Rai Sanyo wrote his " Nihongaishi " (Japanese private 
history). 1 The book deals with feudal history from 
the Kamakura period to the Tokugawa Shogunate, 
and is very hostile to the feudal system. The 
work was eagerly read and understood. Everyone 
knew that Rai Sanyo's attacks on the Minamoto and 
the Taira really pointed at the ruling Tokugawa, and 
so the discontent with the prevailing regime increased 
every day. 

Two Samurai of low rank, Takeuchi Shikibu and 
Yamagata Daini, attempted to set on foot a practical 
reorganization of the present conditions. Under the 
9th Shogun, Takeuchi Shikibu went to Kioto, and 
tried to induce the imperial court officials to make 
use of public opinion and shake off the authority of 
the ShSgunate. The government at Yedo saw 
through his plot, and sent him into exile. Under the 
10th Shogun, Yamagata carried on the plan, and .the 

1 Great men. 

8 History written by a private individual, in contrast to the 
official histories, 


Shogun made him pay with his life for his alliance 
with Takeuchi and others of a similar way of thinking. 
But even these strong measures could not protect the 
Sh5gunate from the prevailing efforts. Men arose in 
all parts of the Empire who carried on a violent 
agitation, and urged the people to rise against the 

Another intellectual tendency was associated with 
that " public opinion " which was directed against 
the government of the Shogunate, and had its 
part in undermining its authority. It has been told 
how from 1637 fear of the Jesuits' activity and of the 
Spaniards' desire of conquest had caused the exclusion 
of Europeans from Japan. Nagasaki alone had 
remained open to the Dutch, and the 8th Shogun 
had permitted the Japanese to learn the Dutch 
language, and allowed the introduction of Dutch 
books. Dutch physicians in Nagasaki taught 
numbers of Japanese. Those Japanese students soon 
formed an influential party, which adopted European 
customs, and were enthusiastic at the idea of introduc- 
ing an European system of education. 

The relations of Japan with Europe soon became 
a burning question. In 1786 the Russians who had 
already taken possession of the whole of Siberia 
came to the north of Japan, to the island of Ezo 
(Hokkaido) that belonged to it, and conquered 
several small islands. The Shogunate government 
were again seized with fear of European plans of 
conquest, and fortified the coast in the neighbourhood 
of Yedo. They sent several expeditions to gain 


information about the northern districts and frontiers 
of the Empire. One of them was led by Mamiya. 
He discovered incidentally that Saghalien which had 
hitherto been regarded as a peninsula, was an island, 
and therefore the straits between Saghalien and the 
mainland were named the Mamiya Straits. He led 
his expedition as far as Manchuria, and the informa- 
tion he obtained there is set down in the narration of 
his travels. At that time, too, In5-Chukei made the 
first map of Japan. The Russians repeated their 
attacks on the island of Ezo, and the English landed 
in Kiusiu, and in 1808 burnt a village near Nagasaki. 
Such events served to strengthen the Shogunate in 
its principle of excluding foreigners, and as a number 
of European merchants penetrated inland from 
Nagasaki, in 1825 the order went forth to the Daimios 
to expel all Europeans. 

Then the students who had learned Dutch and 
adopted Dutch civilization, made themselves heard. 
They declared that in order to defend themselves 
successfully from European attacks, they must enter 
into closer relations with Europe. Watanabe Kazan 
and Takano Choei wrote several books promulgating 
that view. The government forbade their publica- 
tion and imprisoned their authors ; Takano Choei 
had to kill himself. But their ideas could not be 
suppressed and spread even in the circles of the 
Shogunate itself, for the foreign powers who urged 
more and more the opening of the country, convinced 
them of the superiority of their civilization and 
especially of their arms. 




The nth Shogun abdicated in 1838, and was 
succeeded by his son Ieyoshi (1 838-1 853). In the 
beginning of his reign the treasurer, Mizuno Tada- 
kuni, attempted to carry out domestic reforms which 
aimed at strengthening the power of the Shogunate. 
But they failed completely, and led to the fall of the 

His successor was Abe Masahiro, and on him fell 
the task of deciding the foreign question. In July 
1853 four American ships sailed into the harbour of 
Uraga in th^ 3 province oi Sagami. Their commander, 
Admiral Perry, asked the Shogun in the name of the 
United States to make a commercial treaty. The 
Shogunate was uncertain, and asked to be allowed 
to consider the matter until the next year. Two 
months later a Russian ship sailed into the har- 
bour of Nagasaki, and a Russian envoy asked in 
the name of his government for the conclusion of a 
commercial treaty. In his uncertainty, the treasurer 
applied to the imperial court officials and the 
Daimios. The court officials and a large majority of 


the Daimios were unanimous for continuing to exclude 
foreigners. Public opinion was greatly excited _by 
these negociations. It was clear that a large 
majority of the people, and especially the imperial 
party, were against the foreigners. But, notwith- 
standing, the government did not venture to give the 
American embassy an absolute refusal. They feared 
that it might lead to serious quarrels with foreign 
powers, and even to the conquest of the whole 
country. In order to find some way out of a difficult 
position, they decided to open to the Americans the 
two worst harbours in the country, Shimoda in the 
province of Izu, and Hakodate in the island of Ezo 
(or Hokkaido). A provisional treaty was made with 
Perry, 31st March, 1854, who had reappeared with a 
flotilla of seven ships, at Uraga. Treaties soon 
followed with Russia, England and Holland, and the 
same ports were opened to those countries. 

These measures of the government called forth a 
storm of indignation from the people, especially from 
the imperial party who sought to make use of the 
general dislike of foreigners and the Shogunate for 
the attainment of their goal : the restoration of the 
imperial family to its original position of power. 
The small party friendly to the Europeans which 
was utterly opposed to the imperial party possessed 
too little actual power for the Shogunate to find their 
support of real help. 

The Sh5gun was Iesada, son of the 12th ShSgun 
who had died in 1853. His aged treasurer, Abe 
Masahiro, felt no longer able to support the tasks 


awaiting the government and resigned. His suc- 
cessor was the Daimio, Hotta Masahiro, who be- 
longed to the European party and was in favour of 
opening all the trading ports. When in 1856 the 
United States sent a consul in the person of Harris 
Kam with the commission to obtain a definitely 
better treaty of commerce, Hotta Masahiro received 
him as he wished at Yedo, and introduced him to 
the Shogun in person, a proceeding quite at variance 
with prevailing custom. He, moreover, appointed a 
commission for the purpose of working out a treaty 
of commerce, which held its meetings in the Shogun's 
palace. In 1858 a treaty was concluded with the 
United States by the articles of which the best ports 
were opened to them, and which remained the basis 
for all commercial treaties with that power until 
The principal articles of the treaty were : — 

1. Japan and the United States of America were 
henceforth to cultivate friendly relations with 
each other. 

3. Besides the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, the 

following ports were to be open to the United 
States: Kanagawa (Yokohama), 4 July, 1859; 
Nagasaki, 4 July, 1859; Niigata, 1 January, 
i860 ; Hiogo (Kobe), 1 January, 1863. Shimoda 
was closed 6 months after the opening 

4. The Japanese government to levy duties on im- 

ports and exports. 



6. The Americans to be under the jurisdiction of 

their own consular courts, and not under the 
Japanese courts of law. 

7. The Americans to move freely in the neighbour- 

hood of the open ports in a space of about 
25 miles. 

8. Religious tolerance to be extended to the 

Americans in the regions open to them. 

9. The Japanese government to extradite American 


10. The United States to be willing to sell ships of 

war, steamers and arms to the Japanese govern- 
ment, and to place at its disposal instructors, 
officers and artisans. 
14. The treaty to be valid from 4 July, 1859. 

In order to be legal, the treaty required the 
signature of the Emperor. But at that time the 
imperial capital, Kioto, was the seat of the chief 
leaders of the imperial party. They zealously worked 
for the removal of the Shogunate, and sought to 
make opposition to the foreigners serve their purpose, 
while for their part they supported the entire ex- 
clusion of foreigners. The Emperor refused his 
signature, although Hotta Masahiro asked for a 
personal audience. Therefore Hotta resigned. 

His successor, Ii Naosuke, a courageous and 
talented man, fully shared his predecessor's convic- 
tions. In 1858 he finally concluded the treaty of 
commerce dispensing with the Emperor's signature, 
and opened the ports agreed upon to the United 


States. He soon made similar treaties with Russia, 
England, Holland, France and Prussia, likewise 
against the desire of the Emperor. 

Therefore he was the best hated man in the 
Empire. It chanced that the young Shogun died 
just then. The Lord High Treasurer summoned the 
next heir, the 13 year old grandson of the nth 
Shogun, from the province of Kii, and made him 
Shogun. This proceeding of Ii was violently 
attacked by the Daimios. It was thought to point 
to a desire for sole authority, and that for that 
purpose he had made a Tokugawa, who was a minor, 
Shogun. The vassals and friends of the Daimio of 
Mito who was a Tokugawa, and whose family had 
long possessed the hereditary title of Vice-Shogun, 
specially agitated against the Lord High Treasurer, 
and tried to make Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the grown- 
up son of the Vice-Shogun, Shogun. As he belonged 
to the imperial party, he won strong support. A con- 
spiracy was formed between the imperial court 
officials, and the DaimiSs who belonged to the 
imperial party, for the purpose of driving out all 
foreigners through the Vice-Sh6gun. But Ii dis- 
covered the plot, took the chief leaders prisoner, 
and condemned them to incarceration ; on some of 
them the sentence of harakiri was passed. These 
severe measures only served to increase the hatred 
borne him. The following year, i860, he was 
murdered by Samurai at the Sakurada gate as he 
was about to enter the Shogunate palace. 

Samurai and Ronin, hostile to the ShSgunate, also 


made numerous attempts against foreigners at this 

Ii's successor, the treasurer Ando Nobumasa, con- 
tinued a policy of friendly relations with Europeans. 
But recognising the weakness of the Shogunate, he 
thought of reconciliation with the imperial court. In 
1862 he sent an embassy to Europe and America 
to negociate a delay in the time fixed for the open- 
ing of some of the ports. He married the young 
Shogun to an imperial princess, and by so doing 
increased the bitter hatred of his enemies. He was 
attacked and seriously wounded in the Shogunate 

Thus the imperial party were successful in using 
the complications that arose out of the foreign policy 
to bring about the fall of the Shogunate. 



MEANWHILE a large number of Daimios and Samurai 
who were discontented and inclined to the imperial 
party, had gathered in the imperial capital, Kioto. 
They criticised openly and severely the government 
of the Shogunate. Foreign policy came in for a large 
share of blame, and they demanded the overthrow 
of the Shogunate, and the restoration of the legitimate 
imperial government. The imperial court officials 
naturally sympathized with these views. In 1862 in 
the name of the Emperor they invited the Shogun to 
come to Kioto, to drive out the foreigners, and to 
carry out various reforms, especially that of the 
Shogunate government. The Emperor ordered the 
Daimios to drive out all foreigners. 

Naturally the Shogun did not obey, but he had no 
power to prevent the imperial party from proceeding 
against foreigners. The American and the English 
embassies at Yedo were burnt down. By order of 
the Daimio of Nagato (Choshu) an American ship 
was fired at from the Bakan fort, 10th May, 1803, a 

Samurai at the End of the Tokugawa Period 

[Face p. 184 


French ship, 23rd May, a Dutch one, 26th May, an 
American, 1st June, and a French, 5th June, when 
passing through the Bakan straits. His act resulted 
in the bombardment of the Bakan fort, 5th-8th August, 
1863, by a fleet consisting of 9 English, 3 French, 1 
American and 4 Dutch men of war. The fort was 
taken, and the Daimio was compelled to sue for 
peace. The confederate powers demanded as in- 
demnity three million pounds sterling from the 
ShSgunate government. It paid the sum in order 
to avoid a dangerous war. 

The year before, 1862, an Englishman named 
Richardson was murdered by the retainers of Shimatsu 
Saburo, brother of the Daimi5 of Satsuma, while 
accompanying him on his return from Yedo, because 
he had not paid the prince the customary homage. 
When the English were informed of the murder, they 
demanded that Shimatsu Saburo should be delivered 
up to them. As this was refused, their fleet, in July, 
1863, bombarded and destroyed Kugoshima, the port 
of the princedom of Satsuma. Satsuma sued for 
peace and declared itself willing to pay the heavy 
sum of £25,000 demanded by the English as com- 
pensation. The Shogunate made its apologies for the 
occurrence, and paid £100,000 as idemnity. 

If then war was avoided by the sensible policy of 
the Shogunate, a greater danger was threatened by 
the ultra-imperial party which ruled the Emperor's 
court and , the imperial capital and surrounding 
territory. In its blind hatred of the foreigner it 
would have plunged the country into the greatest 


perils had not the Shogunate warned the Emperor 
of the dangerous doings of those people, and so 
brought about a change in the imperial policy 
towards foreigners. 

Matsudaira Katamori, prince of Aizu, a relation 
and adherent of the Shogun, a man of education 
and enlightment, and a friend of Europe, went 
to Kioto and allied himself with the imperial 
court. He gained the help of a prince of the imperial 
family. Through him the Emperor was informed of 
recent events, and was shown how dangerous it was 
to continue the policy of hostility to the foreigner, and 
how much wiser it would be to encourage friendly 
intercourse which would be advantageous to the well- 
being of the country. His warning did not fail to 
have effect. The Emperor recognized that he must 
change his policy in regard to the foreigner, if he did 
not wish to bring great disasters on the whole empire. 
He was ready to take on himself the responsibility 
and the consequences with regard to the Sh5gunate 
on the one hand, and the ultra-imperial party on the 
other. In September, 1863, he sent the prince of 
Nagato, an extremist of the imperial party, into exile. 
Seven imperial court officials who had supported 
Nagato, had to flee. The prince of Satsuma supported 
this important change in the imperial policy, made an 
alliance with Matsudaira Katamori and entered into 
friendly relations with various foreigners. The Emperor 
even determined to make use of the military power 
of the ShSgunate. He transferred the custody of the 
imperial capital and of the imperial palace, Matsudaira 


Katamori, to his Shogunate troops and his ally, the 
prince of Satsuma. In 1865 against the will of 
the imperial government, he acknowledged the treaty 
of commerce that had been made by the Shogunate 
in 1858 with foreign powers. The imperial court 
itself entered into friendly relations with individual 
Europeans. The prince of Satsuma successfully 
convinced many Daimios how unfounded was their 
dislike of the foreigner. Hatred of the foreigner 
decreased more and more in the imperial party, 
especially when the embassy sent to Europe and 
America in 1862 returned, full of praise of European 
civilization. It seemed as if the continuance of the 
Shogunate's authority was assured, since it had once 
more gained a remarkable victory in the domain of 

But the Daimio of Nagato was its implacable 
enemy ; he was meditating revenge for his exile that 
had been effected by Matsudaira Katamori. His 
vassals undertook in July, 1864, an attack on the 
imperial capital that was only overcome with difficulty 
by Matsudaira Katamori and the Daimio of Satsuma. 
When in June, 1866, the Shogunate sent an army 
against Nagato in order to crush him finally, it was 
seen how greatly the military power of the Tokugawa 
was weakened. The troops could do nothing, and 
had to return without having accomplished their 
mission, a circumstance that meant injury to the 
position of the Shogunate. 

The Shogun died in August, 1866, and the 
Emperor in December of the same year. The 


Sh6gun's successor was Tokugawa Yoshinobu, son 
of the Vice-Shogun at Mito. The present Emperor 
Mutsuhito ascended the imperial throne in 1867. 

The almost simultaneous deaths of the Emperor 
and the Shogun were a cause of weakness in the political 
situation, and the leaders of the imperial party felt 
they must use it for the prosecution of their aims. 

In 1865 the two most powerful vassals of the 
DaimiS of Satsuma, the knights Saigo Takamori 
and Okubo Toshimichi, both holding the views of 
the imperial party, had entered into a secret alliance 
with a vassal of the prince of Nagato, the Samurai 
Kido Takayoshi. They planned that Nagato should 
again join with Satsuma, and that both together 
should abolish the ShSgunate, and restore the 
Emperor to his old power. The 15th Shogun, 
Tokugawa Yoshinobu, was as we have seen, a 
supporter of the Emperor. He now had to deal 
with foreign affairs, and thought it best in so difficult 
a situation to avoid civil war, and sympathising with 
the imperial party would not enter into a struggle on 
behalf of the Shogunate with the Emperor. By the 
advice of the Daimio of Tosa he delivered a written 
document to the Emperor, 19th November, 1867, 
in which he declared that he would place the 
government of the Shogunate in the Emperor's 
hands. The document that forms so important a 
turning point in the history of Japan runs as follows : 

" Since the middle ages the imperial power 
has been more and more diminished through 
the Fujiwara family. Later Minamoto Yoritomo 


assumed the position of a Shogun, and brought the 
power of the government into the possession of the 
ShSgunate. I regret that so many obstacles are in 
the way of my administration of the office. Foreign 
affairs play an ever larger part, and intercourse with 
foreign countries is continually on the increase. The 
time therefore demands that our country should have 
one united government. Herewith I give my power 
back into your majesty's hands. Only when the 
Emperor shall rule over the whole land, unite all 
classes under his government and guard our father- 
land, can our nation compete with foreign states. I 
thus fulfil my duty to king and country." 

And so after a faineant existence of 683 years, the 
Emperor again entered on the actual possession of 
the government. 

All honour must be accorded to the policy of the 
Shogunate from the time of Perry's appearance when 
the question of relations with foreign countries 
entered on a new stage. Its policy was guided solely 
in the interests of the state. The Shogunate did not 
make the treaty of commerce from love of the 
foreigner but from conviction of the superiority of 
foreign powers, and of the danger of quarrelling 
with them. The Shogunate, from a feeling of 
responsibility for the fate of the Empire, acted 
against the will of the people and of the imperial 
court, and so undermined its own power. From the 
same point of view of the best interests of the state, 
the last Shogun determined to avoid civil war and 
voluntarily to place his office in the Emperor's hands. 





At the time of the last Shogun's resignation, 
the new Emperor was only fifteen years old, and 
his councillors of the imperial party decided all 
matters of state. Their policy was to secure the 
supremacy of the imperial party throughout the 
empire, and to render nugatory any attempt at a 
future restoration of the Shogunate. Their first act 
was to replace the Shogunate troops to whom the 
custody of the imperial palace and capital were 
entrusted by a strong imperial army. For this 
purpose peace was concluded with the Daimid of 
Nagato with whom there had been war in con- 
sequence of the change of imperial policy in 1863, 
and who had a large military force at his disposal. In 
December, 1867, Matsudaira Katamori was ordered 
to withdraw with his troops from the imperial palace. 
Its custody was transferred to the Daimi5s of 
Satsuma and Tosa and their friends. Terms of 
peace were offered to the Daimio of Nagato, and he 
was asked to come to the capital with troops. The 
seven imperial court officials who had fled were 
recalled and reinstated in their offices. The official 



imperial proclamation relating to the new order of 
administration was published, 3rd January, 1868. It 
officially put an end to the former Shogunate 
government, and it was solemnly declared that for 
the future all power was vested in the Emperor. 
The imperial bureaucracy was newly organized. 
The Sosai (president) and under him the Gij5 
(lesser council) and the Sanyo (greater council) 
formed the head of the imperial officials. The Sosai 
was Prince Arisugawa-no-miya Taruhito, an uncle of 
the Emperor, the members of the lesser council were 
princes and Daimios belonging to the imperial party, 
especially those of Satsuma, Tosa, and Nagato, and 
of the greater council Samurai of the imperial party. 
None of the former Sh5gunate officials received a 
post. The ex-Shogun, several of the Tokugawa, and 
Matsudaira Katamori were entirely passed over when 
the offices were filled. 

Tokugawa Yoshinobu and his adherents naturally 
felt the ingratitude of such conduct on the part of the 
imperial government, and were extremely angry. 
Yoshinobu was then in the Shogunate palace at Kioto, 
and here too had come Matsudaira Katamori after 
his withdrawal with his troops from the imperial 
palace. The troops themselves were so deeply stirred 
at the injustice shown their commander that 
Yoshinobu feared they might attack the imperial 
palace and so revenge themselves on the imperial 
party. In order to prevent bloodshed, notwithstand- 
ing that he was himself much offended, he marched 
with all his troops to Osaka. 


The imperial party who expected nothing good of 
Yoshinobu summoned him in the name of the 
Emperor to return to the capital without his army ; 
he would be received in a friendly way and could lead 
an honourable life at the imperial court. 

Discord prevailed in Yoshinobu's camp. Yoshi- 
nobu inclined to the preservation of peace, and was 
not unwilling to accept the imperial offer. Matsudaira 
Katamori, on the contrary, urged an attack on the 
capital, and the destruction of the imperial party at 
court. In the end Yoshinobu marched to the capital 
with his whole army. 

The princes of Satsuma, Nagato and Tosa waylaid 
him at Fushimi, where fighting took place, 28th 
January, 1868, in which the Shogunate troops were 
defeated. They were superior in numbers but the 
situation became daily more unfavourable for Yoshi- 
nobu. Prince Ninnaji-no-miya Yoshiaki took over the 
chief command of the imperial army. For the first time 
he again bore the insignia of an imperial general : 
Kinki, the brocade banner, and Setto, the sword of 
justice. The Shogunate soldiers became more and 
more conscious that they were rebels, and the number 
of those who refused to take up arms against their 
Emperor continually increased. Yoshinobu marched 
back to Osaka with his army where he disbanded it, 
and fled by sea to Yedo. 

On February 5th, the imperial government 
published a proclamation declaring Tokugawa 
Yoshinobu and all his adherents rebels, and depriving 
them of all rights and honours. Prince Arisugawa- 


no-miya Taruhito now became commander-in-chief 
of the imperial army, and marched with it to the 

Yoshinobu was tired of the struggle. He repaired 
to the temple of Kaneiji in order to testify his peace- 
able and loyal state of mind, and implored Arisugawa 
to obtain his pardon from the Emperor. The imperial 
army entered Yedo on April 26th and occupied the 
Shogunate palace without striking a blow. 
Yoshinobu's life was spared, and he was exiled to his 
native Mito. As his successor in the royal house of 
Tokugawa, the imperial party appointed the young 
Tokugawa Iesato. 

But the civil war was not at an end. A number 
of the Shogun's loyal vassals who called themselves 
Sh5gitai, true union, occupied the park of the temple 
of Kaneiji at Yedo, and appointed Prince Rinoji-no- 
miya, a Tokugawa, the former high priest of the 
temple, their commander-in-chief. A fierce battle 
was fought in the park, on July 4th, in which the 
imperial party were victors. The temple with its 
valuable art treasures was almost entirely destroyed. 
The Sh5gitai fled to the territory of Matsudaira 
Katamori in the north of the Empire where the 
struggle was continued. Matsudaira won the 
adherence of 22 other Daimi5s of northern Japan, and 
gave the government a great deal of trouble for more 
than 6 months. 

After defeating the Shogitai, the imperial army 
turned its attention to the provinces of Shimosa 
and Shimozuke where Otori Keisuke, an adherent of 


the Shogunate, was making a stubborn resistance. 
After several battles, only one of which ended 
favourably for the ShSgunate cause, Otori fled to the 
town of Aizu where the prince of that district, 
Matsudaira Katamori and the Daimi5s allied with 
him, had collected their very considerable forces. 

The town of Aizu is situated on the tableland of 
Aizu which is surrounded on all sides by high 
mountains, and difficult of access to an attacking 
party. The imperial troops marched by two ways to 
the tableland : one division went through the province 
of Echigo along the river Aga-no-gawa which rises in 
the Aizu tableland, and on the banks of which the 
town of Aizu is situated ; the other marched by the 
hostile fortress, Shirakawa, and took it. In the 
beginning of October the imperial troops commenced 
an attack on the town of Aizu. Matsudaira's 
adherents made a stubborn resistance. The Biakko- 
Tai, an association of youths from 15 to 17 years old 
who had joined together for the purpose of defence, 
deserves special mention. They fought with great 
courage ; 19 of them, when the town perished in 
flames ended their lives by Harakiri. A few women, 
armed with spears, took part in the battle. In the 
end the imperial army was victorious. Matsudaira, 
wishing to save the lives of the 3000 besieged, forbade 
suicide, and surrendered with them to the conquerors 
who exercised mercy. The Daimios, his allies, who 
were scattered through the land, gradually 

The war was also carried on at sea. The 


Sh5gunate had acquired a number of men-of-war 
built in Holland, 8 of which were in the hands of 
Enomoto Takeaki, a faithful adherent of the 
Shogunate. These ships succumbed to the imperial 
fleet in the battles at the port Miyako and at the 
island of Ezo. There the fortress Goriokaku made a 
long resistance and only surrendered in July, 1869. 
That event ended the civil war, and ensured the 
imperial supremacy throughout the land. 

Meanwhile the government had come to a firm 
decision in regard to the question of foreigners. Now 
that the whole responsibility of government lay with 
the imperial party, they considered it incumbent on 
them to be on friendly terms with foreign powers. 
Even men like the Prince of Nagato who had a few 
years ago violently agitated for the exclusion of 
foreigners, now agreed to the policy of friendly 
relations with them. It became clear that the hostile 
position of the imperial party towards foreigners had 
been essentially due to their opposition to the 
Shogunate. The prejudices, too, which had actually 
prevailed with them, disappeared in closer intercourse 
with the Europeans who at this time came in large 
numbers to the country. The imperial court was now 
not only convinced that the entire opening up of the 
country was an absolute necessity, and that it would 
bring misfortune on the whole empire to resist the 
superior force of foreign nations, but also hoped to 
derive advantage from the adoption of European 
forms of civilization. 

The Emperor on February 7th, 1868, the first Meiji 


year, sent an embassy to the representatives of the 
foreign powers at Hiogo (Kobe) to inform them that 
the ShSgunate government no longer existed and 
that the Emperor alone held authority : the imperial 
government had instituted a special office for foreign 
affairs and desired henceforth to maintain friendly 
relations with foreign powers. It did not rely merely 
on these promises ; the government proved by deeds 
how much it was in earnest. When the Ronin (errant 
knights belonging to no lord) or the regular troops 
made attacks on Europeans,severe measures were taken 
against the evil-doers, and the government did not 
hesitate to risk the displeasure of their own vassals. 
Twenty knights of the Prince of Tosa who had killed a 
French officer with eleven men were condemned to 
carry out harakiri in a Buddhist temple at Sakai in the 
presence of the French ambassador ; the last 9 of them, 
at the request of the ambassador who was unable to 
endure the terrible spectacle any longer, were let off 
with banishment. 

A few days after the transmission of the imperial 

declaration to the representatives of the foreign powers 

at Hi5go, the Emperor Mutsuhito solemnly read a 

proclamation to the highest Kuge and Daimios in the 

temple belonging to the imperial palace at Ki5to, and 

ratified it with his oath. The proclamation contained 

the guiding lines of the future imperial policy. 

I. Assemblies shall be called into being in which all 

classes of the people shall be represented. All 

affairs of state shall be therein discussed and public 

opinion will thus find expression. 


2. In future all distinction between the upper and 

lower classes of the people shall as far as possible 
be removed for the purpose of securing the order 
and peace of the Empire. 

3. Every individual, the highest officer of the state 

as well as the most insignificant man of the people, 
shall strive to do his work well and not neglect his 
special calling. 

4. Old-fashioned and useless manners and customs 

shall be banned, and efforts made to guide the 
people in right directions. 

5. Knowledge from all parts of the world shall be 

made use of for rendering the state strong and 

On November 6th, 1868, the Emperor followed the 
old custom of naming the new era. He called it 
Meiji, i.e. u brilliant or shining reign." He decided 
that for the future such a designation should hold 
good for the whole reign of an Emperor. 

At the end of 1868, the official machinery that had 
been set up on January 3rd was again abolished 
and its place taken by provisional offices. In July, 
1869, an organization of the imperial central govern- 
ment was set up on the model of the administrative 
reforms of the first Taiho year. A Jingikan and a 
Dajokan were again appointed, of which the last 
comprised the Dajodajin or Chancellor-in-chief, the 
Sadaijin or Chancellor of the left and the Udaijin or 
Chancellor of the right. As we said above, single 
ministerial departments were under the Dajokan which 


resembled the modern European ministries. Corre- 
sponding to that model, six ministers were appointed 
under the Dajokan : a minister of the imperial family, 
a minister of finance, a minister of foreign affairs, a 
war minister (from 1872 minister of war and the 
marine), a minister of justice, and a minister of home 
affairs. The Jingikan was abolished and replaced by 
a minister for religion under the Dajokan. 

These offices were bestowed on the most meritorious 
knights of the imperial party ; only one of the princes, 
the prince of Satsuma, received an office, and he was 
appointed Chancellor of the left. 

The Emperor fixed his residence at Yedo, Novem- 
ber 26th, 1868, and from that date it bore the name 
TSkio, i.e. the eastern capital. 

The Shogunate was at length at an end and the 
imperial power restored. But even so, the restoration 
was only partial. It did not yet possess by a long 
way such a position as the Taika reforms had given 
it, or at least attempted to give it. There were still 
277 Daimios who only acknowledged the imperial 
supremacy, and possessed all the power and authority 
that a German confederate prince has to-day, and 
besides had undiminished rights of maintaining their 
own Samurai army. 

But, through the great enthusiasm for the new 
imperial government these conditions, also, came to 
an end. A number of ministers requested the Daimi5s 
under whom they had hitherto been as Samurai, to 
give up their independent position as princes, and to 
place their lands in the Emperor's hands. Among 


them were the Daimios of Nagato, Satsuma, Tosa, 
and Hizen, and they prepared a document to be 
signed and presented to the Emperor in which it was 
stated : — 

" Formerly the imperial family alone held the 
reins of government, and so should they govern in 
the future. The whole Empire must be governed by 
our Emperor, since the land belonged to him from 
the beginning, and all the people are his subjects. 
Our vassals cannot live a single day without the Em- 
peror. In the middle ages the Kamakura Shogunate 
violently bereft the Emperor of his power. The 
Tokugawa Shogunate and ourselves did not realise 
the wrong we were doing. But now we repent, and 
are prepared to give our lands back to the Emperor. 
Only if our Empire is united under one ruler will it be 
able to compete with the European states." Gradu- 
ally the signatories to this document were able to 
persuade many other Daimios to give up their inde- 
pendence and their lands. 

The imperial decree that put an end to the feudal 
system followed on June 17th, 1869. The decree 
abolished the princely power of the Daimios ; all 
lands became the property of the Emperor, and all 
the Japanese, his subjects. The independent powers 
which the feudal system had created came to an end, 
and one central power governed the whole Empire and 
all its inhabitants. The decision meant an absolute 
change in the political, social, economic,and intellectual 
life of the nation, the importance of which was incom- 
parably greater than the speedy introduction of the 


technical achievements of European nations, a striking 
circumstance that chiefly attracts attention, but it 
was really a result of the sweeping political reforms. 
The former feudal subjection was replaced by civil 
liberty, intellectual enlightenment, and a wholly new 
economic life. The complete destruction of the petri- 
fied political forms of the old feudal system was an 
essential factor in the adoption in its widest extent of 
European civilization. 

But the ethical advantages of feudal times were not 
destroyed by the abolition of the political forms of 
the feudal system. BushidS still continued to exist; 
the chivalrous ideas, especially the lofty sense of 
honour of the Japanese acquaintance with which we 
have made in feudal times, played an essential part 
in the wonderful success of the Japanese nation in its 
thorough and speedy adoption of the advantages of 
European civilization. The sense of honour that 
made the nation unable to endure being looked down 
on, was calculated in a high degree to determine the 
Japanese eagerly to adopt the new methods. But it 
was not only by its moral qualities that the Japanese 
nation so quickly won the esteem of Europe : even 
more important was the fact that it was sufficiently 
educated both intellectually and aesthetically to ap- 
preciate the superiority of European civilization. We 
have pointed out the great epochs of the intellectual 
and artistic activity of the Japanese nation, and have 
mentioned great scholars and artists who before the 
closer ties with Europe did distinguished work. 
There were a large number of institutions for higher 


education ; there were elementary schools in all the 
larger communities. The difficult art of writing was 
practised by the greater part of the people. That 
Japan did not earlier enter into relations with Europe 
had its cause in its historical development, in its domes- 
tic politics. An absolute change in those politics was 
required, and the decree of June 17, 1869, brought it 
into being. 

With the revolution that removed all the DaimiSs 
and Samurai from their former position was bound 
up the question of what was to be done with them in 
the future. The decree of June 17, 1869, appointed 
the Daimios as prefects and territorial governors over 
the lands they had formerly possessed. Compensa- 
tion in money was given to the Samurai. But in 
1 87 1 the imperial government dismissed all the 
Daimios from their offices, and compensated them 
with money paid in government bonds. The amount 
differed in accordance with the importance of each 
prince. The whole sum paid in compensation to the 
Samurai and Daimios was about ;£ 17,390,000. The 
government in addition undertook to pay all the 
princes' debts, a sum of not less than £1,743,229. 

Their titles were fixed on this occasion. All the 
Daimi5s and former imperial court officials received 
the appellation of Kazoku, i.e. Flower or noble families. 
They resided almost without exception at Tokio. 
The families fell into five classes according to their 
former importance : 1. K5 = prince, 2. Ko (written in 
Japanese differently from the first Kd) = marquis, 3. 
Haku - Earl, 4. Shi - viscount, 5. Dan - Baron. There 


were at that time 486 Kazoku families and 406,209 
Samurai families. 

The country was in 1871 divided into three Fu l 
with the towns Tokio, Kioto and Osaka. The Fu 
were again divided into seventy-two Ken. a The 
island of Ezo or HokkaidS formed an exception, and 
was regarded as a colony, and also the island of 
Riukiu which was governed by a king who paid 
homage to the imperial supremacy. But they were 
- on joined to a government district. 8 

At this period one reform followed another with 
astonishing rapidity. In 1870 the judicial system 
underwent reform : it was separated from the poli- 
tical administration. A new penal code was begun 
on the European model and was finished in 1880, and 
all legal affairs were administered in European 

In 1 87 1, also, a new system of coinage was intro- 
duced : the En (about two shillings) was the normal 
coin. A gold standard was only introduced after the 
victorious war with China. Europeans now founded 
banks and insurance societies in Japan. 

The telegraph had been introduced in 1870; the 
next year the subterranean cable between Nagasaki 

1 Chief divisions. 

"Government districts or departments. 

•At the present time the country is divided into three Fu 
and forty-three Ken. Hokkaido, Formosa and Saghalien have 
a special government, as has the recently acquired Korea and 
the part of Manchuria ruled by Japan. 


and Shanghai was laid. The railway between TokiS 
and Yokohama was opened in 1872, and other lines 
opening up the whole country soon followed. A 
postal system on the European model was instituted 
in 1 87 1. In a few years there was a widely spread 
network of telegraphs. Compulsory education was 
made the law in 1872, and in 1873 the Gregorian 
calendar and the observance of Sunday were intro- 

Immediately after the breaking up of the feudal 
system, by the decree of June 17th, 1871, the former 
army of knights was disbanded, and replaced by an 
imperial army which in 1873 was to be joined by 
citizens and peasants. The formation, equipment 
and training of the imperial army followed the 
European model. French instructors were employed 
until 1877 an d they were replaced later by German. 
Universal conscription was introduced in 1873. At 
that time the imperial army consisted of 6 divisions, 1 
and each division had a peace footing of 7,000 men. 
An imperial navy was also founded at this time. 

These reforms which were carried out by an 
absolute government were followed by the reform of 
the absolute government itself, and may be compared 
with the period of liberal-minded absolutism in 
European states when the people grew ripe for 
political independence and constitutional government. 

But before this change occurred there was a fierce 
and widespread struggle to defend the reforms already 
made from the reaction that set in against them. 

1 It now consists of 18 divisions. 



It can be easily understood that the activity of the 
reforming government, and the joyful acquiescence of 
the majority of the people, excited serious discontent 
in the class that had formerly played the chief part, 
and was now deprived of all its privileges. The 
Samurai found that in the general economic and 
industrial competition and progress they were out- 
stripped by the citizens whom they had hitherto 
regarded with contempt. They were even deprived 
of what had formerly distinguished them out- 
wardly from citizens and peasants, the right to wear 
two swords, by an edict of 1871. The money 
compensation they received was very small ; in any 
case it bore no relation to their former way of living, 
and was soon spent. The only work they understood 
was that of fighting, and they had neither the 
capacity nor the desire for industrial or agricultural 
employments. Those, and they were the greater 
part, who received no office saw themselves face to 
face with poverty. The large party of opposition to 


the new system of government that was thus formed 
among the Samurai included many who, a short time 
before, had supported the imperial government 
against the Shogunate. They had not foreseen that 
the restoration of the imperial power would result in 
the complete abolition of the feudal system, and the 
ruin of their class. As it was clear to most of them 
that there was very little chance of the restoration of 
feudal conditions, they placed their hopes on a 
foreign war by means of which they thought to win 
fame and esteem. And so the Samurai agitated for 
war with Korea. 

They found support for their effort in that direction 
in General Saigo Takamori, a former Samurai of the 
Daimioof Satsuma. He had won great distinction in 
the restoration of the imperial power, and held an 
important place at the imperial court. Many 
councillors of state of the various government depart- 
ments supported their efforts, and in 1873 had very 
nearly succeeded in forcing their will, when Iwakura 
Tomomi, the Chancellor of the right, and the 
councillors of state, Okubo Toshimichi and Kido 
Takayoshi returned from a three years' tour in Europe, 
and declared that for the present, the government 
must under no circumstances enter into a foreign 
war ; peace must be preserved in the land, in order 
to carry on the reforms already made and to introduce 
others. The Emperor shared the views of the 
reform and peace party. That fact so embittered the 
aristocratic leaders of the war party, Saigo Takamori, 
and the councillors Eto Shimpei and Itagaki Taisuke, 


that they resigned the imperial service. They now 
put themselves at the head of the opposition against 
the reforming government. 

In 1874 a rebellion led by Et5 Shimpei broke 
out in the Saga district and it took the government 
a month to quell it. It saw that danger to the 
country might ensue from this discontent, and that 
something must be done to divert the opposition's 
desire of fighting to other quarters. It therefore 
determined on an expedition to Formosa to subdue 
the savage tribes living in the south of the island. A 
legitimate political cause was forthcoming. A few 
years back Japanese merchants had been murdered 
there. Representations made at the time by Japan 
to the Chinese government to which Formosa was 
subordinate, were without result. Japan was there- 
fore within its rights, if it now sought satisfaction on 
its own part. 

In May, 1874, General Saig5 Tsugumichi set out 
from Nagasaki to Formosa with 36,000 men, mostly 
Samurai, and in a few months succeeded in bringing 
the savage tribes of the island into subjection. But 
Japan was unable to annex a part of the island, as 
the Chinese government entered a protest against 
Japan's proceedings. Diplomatic negotiations en- 
sued, and with the help of English arbitration it was 
decided that China should pay Japan an indemnity 
of £50,000 

The enterprise, however, did not remove the dis- 
content prevailing among the knights. 

In 1876 rebellions again broke out. A large 



number of Samurai collected together in the town of 
Kumamoto where there had been peculiar resistance 
to the introduction of European customs. In the 
night of October 24th-25th they attacked Major- 
General Taneda and numerous other officers of the 
garrison. Taneda and many of his comrades died. 
The prefect of the district was seriously wounded. 
The soldiers in the barracks were forced to surrender 
to the rebels. Revolts also occurred in Akitsuki and 

The next year, 1877, the rebellion that the former 
General Saigo Takamori had so long been preparing 
took place. He had belonged to the imperial party, 
and had supported the friendly policy of the govern- 
ment towards foreigners. But he possessed too 
much of the old spirit of chivalry, he was too much 
a child of feudal times, of too romantic a nature, not 
to find the policy of the imperial civil government 
too levelling. From patriotic motives he had eagerly 
supported the ^abolition of fiefs and the decree of 
June 17th, 1809, but he desired to preserve for the 
fatherland the chivalrous spirit of feudal times. He 
and many educated officers who gathered round him, 
considered it unworthy of a military state to be 
governed as now, solely by civil officials, and could 
not endure that so many brave Samurai should be 
reduced to a condition of absolute insignificance. 
Their aim was to replace this, in their opinion, 
weakly official system of government which they 
despised, by a strong, military rule, ready and able 
to pursue a glorious foreign policy, and to have no 


fear of entering on a war. They hoped that under 
such a government the Samurai would regain their 

The rebellion had been long preparing. With 
men of similar views like Major-General Kirino 
Toshiaki and Shinowara Kunimoto, Takamori. had 
founded in his native Kagoshima the so-called 
private school. There the classical literature of 
China was studied and daily military exercises 
practised. The number of pupils gradually increased 
to 3,000. 

In February, 1877, the discontent broke out into 
open deeds of violence against the government 
officials. This was against the will of Takamori 
who would have preferred to wait until his strength 
was more assured. But there was now no going 
back. With a force of 12,000 men he marched 
against the town of Kumamoto, where there was a 
strong imperial garrison that must be overcome 
before he could proceed to march against Tokio. 
The imperial Major-General Tani Motoki, the com- 
mander-in-chief of the garrison, made a brave 
resistance, and Saig5 Takamori was forced to enter 
on a wearisome siege. He received support in 
money from the prefect of the district of Kagoshima, 
so that he was able to increase his army to 20,000 
men. But soon Prince Arisugawa-no-miya marched 
against him with the whole imperial army. 

A battle took place near Kumamoto on the hill 
of Tabaruzaka in which Saigo was defeated, and 
some of the best leaders of the rebel army like 


Shinowara, fell. The siege of Kumamoto was raised 
soon after this defeat. When the rebels were 
defeated after severe fighting at several fortresses, 
Takamori and his faithful adherents returned to 
Kago*hima where they intrenched themselves on 
the hill of Schiroyama, situated near the town of 
Kagoshima. There on the morning of September 
24th they were defeated by the imperial army after 
a final desperate struggle. SaigS Kirino, and other 
leaders committed suicide. The victory of the 
imperial troops put an end to the danger of rebellion 
by those opposed to the new system of government. 

The tragic end of Takamori roused deep sympathy 
throughout the country both in friend and foe. A 
great personality died with him. He understood in 
a degree rarely seen, how to live and die for his great 
patriotic ideas, impossible to realize though they 
were. Not less than 40,000 men had taken up arms 
for him in the last war. His defeat cost the 
government a great expenditure of strength. They 
had placed in the field against him 58,000 men of 
whom 6,200 were killed and 9,500 wounded. 



We have already stated that a period of enlighten- 
ment followed the abolition of the feudal system in 
Japan, for which the absolute government was 
systematically responsible. By its means, European 
intellectual life took firm root in Japan. Simul- 
taneously with the introduction of compulsory edu- 
cation and the extension of the system of elementary 
schools, numerous high schools were established in 
which European languages, especially English, were 
taught. English books were read, and Japanese 
students went every year to Europe and returned to 
their homes full of European ideas. And thus con- 
stitutional ideas and methods found favour, but more 
among educated persons like the higher officials than 
among the masses of the people. 

The government made reforms before they were 
especially demanded or even understood by the 
people. In 1875 they instituted a Senate with 
regular sessions, composed of distinguished and cap- 
able men, and also an annual meeting of directors 
of districts. Both assemblies were of an advisory 


character. In 1879 district councils were instituted 
in each district, and they were responsible for an 
essential part of the financial administration and the 
imposition of taxes in their districts. 

But gradually the new political ideas penetrated 
to the people themselves, and the demand for con- 
stitutional government became more insistent. 
Numerous petitions were presented to the senate 
concerning the revision of the commercial treaties, 
and the removal of the special tribunals of the foreign 
consulates. Different political parties were formed : 
1. The Jiyuto, the liberal party which demanded 
greater personal freedom. Its founder was the former 
councillor, Itugaki Taisuke, who had resigned with 
Saig5 Takamori. 2. The Kaishinto, the progressive 
party, the less radical party which demanded national 
progress rather than the liberty of the individual. 
Its founder was the councillor, Okuma Shigenobu, 
who had also resigned, and later was to come 
forward as minister. 3. The Rikkenteiseito, the con- 
stitutional imperial government party which held 
conservative views ; it wanted a constitution but felt 
that the time for constitutional government had not 
yet arrived. That party had only existed for a short 
time. At the same time as this formation of parties, 
the press made great progress and the demands of 
public opinion were more definitely expressed. 

These developments resulted in the following 
imperial decree of October, 1881 : 

t( My family has been in uninterrupted possession 
of the government of this country for over 2,500 


years. I have completely restored the imperial power 
which suffered diminution in the middle ages, and 
have re-united the whole Empire. It is my wish to 
give my people a system of constitutional govern- 
ment which shall be accepted and protected by my 
successors. The Senate and the assembly of 
directors of districts instituted in 1875 were a pre- 
paration for this. But the time is not yet ripe for the 
introduction of such a system. European civilization 
must first be more widely spread and more firmly 
rooted. But I promise that in the 23rd Meiji year, 
1890, a parliament shall be opened. Let the officials 
and the people prepare for it." 

In 1882 the Emperor sent the councillor, I to 
Hirobumi, to Europe to study the different European 
constitutions. He returned to Japan in 1884, an< 3 a 
beginning was made to work out great government 

In 1885 a thorough change was made in the official 
apparatus of the imperial central government. The 
Dajokan, that had been restored in 1869 was 
abolished, and the central government was modelled 
on the European ministries. A President (Naikaku- 
Sori-Daijin) was at the head of the following 
departments: 1. Home Office (Naimu-sho). 2. Foreign 
Office (Gaimu-sho). 3. The Treasury (Okura-sho). 
4. War Office (Rikugun-sho). 5. The Admiralty 
(Kaigun-sho). 6. Department of Justice (Shiho-sho). 
7. Board of Education (Mombu-sho). 8. Board of 
Agriculture and Trade (Noshomu-sho). 9. Board of 
Communications and Public Works (Teishin-shS). 


The Senate instituted in 1875 was abolished, and the 
Emperor formed a privy council of men who had 
won distinction in the service of the State. The 
regular sittings of the district assembly also ceased, 
and it lay in future with the minister for Home 
Affairs to summon it for the purpose of advice in 
specially important matters. 

In 1888 the administration of the communes under- 
went reform. 

The proclamation of the new constitution which was 
awaited by the people with great anxiety was made 
on February nth, 1889. 

It instituted two chambers, the House of Lords 
and the House of Representatives of the people. 
The two chambers had the rights of regular sessions 
of imposing taxes, of legislation, of petition and of 
interpellation. The Emperor held the right of 
summoning, proroguing or dissolving both chambers, 
of setting aside their decisions or assisting them with 
the power of the law. This constitution still holds 

The House of Lords-, so ran the decree, was to 
consist of: 1. Princes of the imperial family over 
20 years of age. 2. All princes and marquises over 
25 years of age. 3. One fifth of the three other classes 
of nobles elected by themselves. The right of voting 
belonged only to those who had completed their 25th 
year. 4. 45 citizen delegates. The 15 richest men 
of each district elected a delegate, the age of 30 
being the lowest both for elected and electors. The 
delegate was elected to serve for seven years. 5. Of 


a certain number of learned and capable men chosen 
by the Emperor according to his pleasure. The 
number of the members of the House of Lords was 
not to exceed 300. 

The House pf Representatives of the people, the 
decree stated, was to be directly elected. The 
electoral franchise was to be equal but not universal. 
Only those who paid 15 l En in direct taxes and 
were over 25 years of age could vote. The members 
who numbered 300 a were elected for 4 years. 

Two important reforms were introduced before 
the beginning of the elections. A new legal con- 
stitution was decreed, February 18th, 1890, and a 
new civil code was published on February 21st. 

The elections for the House of Representatives were 
held July, ist-3rd, 1890. The result was favourable 
to the government. The Emperor opened both 
Chambers on November 29th, and thus in 1890 a 
new era again began for Japan. 

1 Lowered later to 10 En. 
•Raised to 370 in 1890. 



We have seen how at the end of the Tokugawa 
Sh5gunate the Russians had penetrated as far as 
the northern frontier of Japan, and in spite of the 
opposition of the Shogunate government had taken 
possession of a part of the islands of Saghalien and 
Kurile. Shortly before its fall the Shogunate 
asserted its readiness to recognize the 50th parallel 
of north latitude as its boundary. But the Russian 
government did not agree. In 1875, however, the 
two powers came to an agreement by which Russia 
received the whole of Saghalien, and Japan the 
Kurile islands. 

After the restoration of the imperial power in 
Japan, there was, as we have also seen, a strong 
agitation for war with Korea. The government was 
not in favour of it, considering the country not yet 
sufficiently prepared to risk the chances of so 
hazardous a foreign enterprise. But the Korean 
question was soon to become again acute. For the 
government of Korea which refused to open their 
ports to foreigners, and fired at French and American 


men of war, were too proud to receive a Japanese 
embassy, and made great encroachments on Japan. 
In 1895 a Japanese man of war sailed past the 
Korean island of Koka, and was fired at from the 
battery of the island. An attack followed and the 
Japanese took the island. The success of the 
Japanese arms worked wonders. The Korean 
government contented themselves with entering into 
diplomatic relations with Japan, and concluding a 
commercial treaty by which the port of Fusan, and 
later those of Tschemulpo and Gensan, were open to 
Japan. The United States and the European 
governments made similar treaties with Korea. 

Hitherto the government of Korea had been 
carried on by Tai-Won-Kun, a man hostile to reform, 
for his son, King Ri-Ki, who was a minor. When he 
came of age and took over the reins of government 
in agreement with his wife, a member of the powerful 
aristocratic family, Min, he directed his efforts to 
obtain absolute independence, and to remove 
Tai-Won-Kun's influence from all departments of 
the government. The contrast was the more 
acute since he sought to introduce reforms on 
the Japanese model. When for that purpose he 
invited some Japanese officers to visit the country, 
Tai-Won-Kun was so exasperated that he collected 
an army of discontented soldiers, stormed the royal 
palace, and massacred the Japanese officers. The 
house of the Japanese embassy was burnt down, and 
the Japanese envoys only escaped with their lives, 
and fled to Nagasaki in an English ship. 


But a change in the conduct of affairs at court 
took place when a Japanese man of war appeared at 
Tschemulpo and demanded satisfaction for the 
Japanese embassy. Fear of war with Japan shook 
Tai-Won-Kun's determination, he left the palace and 
fled to Peking. The young king apologized to Japan 
and permitted her to place two companies of soldiers 
at Seoul. And the Korean government paid an 
indemnity of ^"50,000. 

China now interfered, and also placed two 
companies of soldiers at Seoul, as Japan could not 
be permitted to strengthen her position in Korea. 
The rivalry between the Japanese and Chinese 
troops continually increased, and two parties corres- 
ponding to the rival nations were formed at the 
Korean court: the Jidaito 1 which was re-actionary and 
leaned to China, and the Dokuritsut5 2 which 
held progressive views and leaned to Japan. In 
December, 1884, it came to open hostility. The 
DokuritsutS attacked members of the Min family 
who had been disloyal to their friendship with Japan, 
and had joined with the Jidaita party. Thereupon 
hostilities immediately broke out between the 
Japanese and Chinese garrisons which ended badly 
for the Japanese. The Japanese embassy was burnt 
down (1884). 

But Japan made a protest, and the minister for 
Foreign Affairs went in person to Korea. The 

1 Ji= obedient, dai*= great power i.e. China, to *= party. 
% i.e. independence. 


Korean government made amends, promised to 
rebuild the Japanese embassy and to pay an 

In order also to come to a settlement with China, 
the Japanese ambassador It5 Hirobumi went to 
Tientsin where he entered into negociations with the 
Chinese Ambassador Li-Hung-Tschang. The Treaty 
of Tientsin was concluded between the two powers, 
18th April, 1885. It enacted : 1. Recognition of the 
independence of Korea. 2. Withdrawal of the 
Chinese and Japanese troops. 3. Obligation of the 
two powers to come to an agreement together 
concerning all future action in Korea. 

But the hostility between China and Japan in 
regard to Korea was not ended by that treaty, and 
the last article contained the germ of fresh conflicts. 



The Chinese government had no intention of taking 
the Treaty of Tientsin seriously. They considered 
that their supremacy over Korea still held good, and 
continued to interfere considerably in the domestic 
affairs of the country. 

When in April, 1894, the T5kugat5 l rebelled, and 
the Korean government could not put them down, 
China sent troops to Korea. That proceeding com- 
pelled Japan to do the same. Four thousand men 
were landed at Yen-Tschuan, not far from Seoul, on 
June 1 2th. The Chinese government informed Japan 
that their troops were not required, as China had 
already restored order. The Japanese government 
referred to the Treaty of Tientsin, and proposed that 
with the assistance of China, reforms should be 
carried out in Korea by which the country should be 
freed from the oppression of the nobles and from the 
extortions of corrupt officials. By that way alone 
could the improvement of the impoverished nation 
be assured. 

1 To = oriental, Gaku = learning, To = party. 


China refused the proposition without closer con- 
sideration, and sent more troops by sea to Asan 
(Gazan) in order to shut up the Japanese army in 
Seoul and destroy it. 

Then a Japanese squadron of 8 ships sailed out and 
cruised about on the high seas before Asan in order 
to capture any further troops that China might send. 
On July 25th, it came up with two Chinese ships by the 
island of Pfhung-d5 (Hoto) near Asan. The Chinese 
fired the first shot ; a fight took place that ended 
with the flight of the Chinese ships. Soon after the 
Japanese squadron again came up with two Chinese 
ships that had a large number of troops aboard. One 
of them immediately surrendered. The other that 
sailed under the British flag was summoned to sur- 
render by Togd, the commander of the cruiser, Naniwa, 
and when she refused was fired at and destroyed. 
The English officers were saved, but 1200 Chinese 
troops who were on board were drowned. 

Meanwhile the Japanese had landed more troops 
at Tschemulpo. They joined with the Japanese 
regiment at Seoul, and attacked the Chinese, who had 
remained at Asan waiting in vain for aid. A battle 
was fought on July 27th, at the little town of 
Seonghwan (Sei-kan) in which the Chinese were 

The Korean government again deserted the Chinese 
cause for the side of the more powerful Japanese. 

On August 1st, 1894, the Japanese government 
officially declared war on China, and were enthusiastic- 
ally supported by the two Houses and the people in 


general. Party differences retired into the back- 
ground, and the House of Representatives un- 
animously granted the necessary funds. 

On August 8th, the Japanese marched into Seoul 
unopposed, and were received in friendly fashion by 
the Korean Government which declared its readiness 
to make the reforms demanded by Japan. 

As the Japanese fleet made it impossible for the 
Chinese to effect a landing at Asan, they had landed 
troops in the north of Korea at the mouth of the 
river Taidong, and occupied the fortress of Phyong- 
yang which was situated in its neighbourhood. 
Thither also the troops retreated after their defeat at 
Song-hwan. The garrison of Phyong-yang was 
increased therefore to 50,000 men. The Japanese 
sent a part of their force against the fortress, under 
the command of Lieutenant-General Nozu, who took 
it by storm on September 15th. 

Two days later, a naval battle took place near the 
island of Hai-yang in the Korean bay of the Yellow 
Sea. The Japanese fleet consisted of 12 ships, and 
was under the command of Ito Yuko, the Chinese 
fleet numbering 12 men of war and 5 torpedo boats. 
The battle ended with the entire defeat of the Chinese 
who lost five ships. 

The chief military encampment which had been 
hitherto at TSki5 was moved on September 15th to 
the west, to Hiroshima, so as to be nearer the seat of 

Before the taking of the fortress of Phyong-yang, 
Field-Marshal Yamagata Aritomo with the fifth and 


third divisions, had crossed the lower course of the 
Yalu, the river that formed the boundary between 
Korea and Manchuria, and invaded Manchuria. 
The Chinese had a fortress, Kiu-lien-cheng, (Kiu-ren- 
jo) on the Manchurian bank of the Yalu, and a force 
of 25,000 men. When on October 26th, the Japanese 
began the attack, the whole of the Chinese garrison 
turned tail and fled. Sixty-six cannon, more than 
3,000 guns and large military stores, fell into the 
hands of the Japanese. 

After the capture of that fortress the second Japanese 
army, consisting of the 1st and 2nd divisions under 
Field-Marshal Oyama Iwao landed on the east coast 
of the Liantung peninsula at the mouth of the river 
Hwa-Yen (Ka-en-ko), not far from Port Arthur (Rio- 
jun-K6). They immediately attacked the fortified town 
of Kintschou, took it on November 6th, and so threw 
open the road to Port Arthur. On November 21st, 
they attacked that fortress but were repulsed. In 
the night, however, the Chinese fled, and when the 
Japanese renewed the attack next day, they found 
no resistance. Thus the southern peninsula of Liang- 
tung fell into the hands of the 2nd Japanese army 
which now divided into two parts. The principal 
division, under Oyama, embarked for the Shantung 
peninsula, the other, under the command of Lieuten- 
ant-General Yamaji marched north in order to join 
the 1st army which had meanwhile penetrated farther 
into Manchuria. 

The next proceeding of the northern army (1st 
army) was to attack the fortress of Kaiping in the 



north of the Liantung peninsula, and they took it by 
storm on January ioth, 1895. 

The passage of the larger part of the 2nd army to the 
Shantung peninsula was accomplished under the pro- 
tection of the whole of the Japanese fleet of men of 
war. The troops were landed, January 20th-25th. 
They immediately proceeded to attack the fortress of 
Wei-hai-wei. The whole of the Chinese war fleet, 
about 30 men of war, was lying in the harbour. 
They had barricaded themselves there, and despite 
their numerical superiority, made no attempt to pre- 
vent the passage of the Japanese southern army. 
During the attack of the land force on the fortress, 
the Japanese fleet blockaded the harbour. The 
south-east fort fell on January 30th, and on February 
2nd, the Japanese were masters of all the fortifications 
situated on the mainland. During the battle they 
had several times attacked the Chinese fleet with 
torpedo boats, in consequence of which they suffered 
some losses, but destroyed four of the enemy's men 
of war. The Japanese fleet and land force now 
combined in common attacks on the enemy's ships 
and island forts, and by February 12th, Admiral Ting, 
Commander of the Chinese fleet, was compelled to 
enter into negotiations. The deed of capitulation was 
signed on February 14th. Ting killed himself before 
the surrender. The other ten men of war, and a 
garrison of 5,134 men and 183 officers fell into the 
hands of the Japanese. The prisoners had to surrender 
their arms, and were then set at liberty. 

While the southern army had had so brilliant a 


success, the northern army had also been victorious. 
General Nozu had replaced Yamagata who had been 
forced to resign through illness. On March 4th, Nozu 
had taken the town of Niu-tschwang after severe 
fighting in the streets, and then crossed the Liau-ho 
(Rio-ka) with the whole of the northern army. The 
town of Tien-tschwang-tai (Den-sho-dai) was soon 
taken, and then there were no troops to prevent the 
further invasion of the Chinese empire by the Japanese. 
And so the large empire of China was compelled to 
make overtures of peace to little Japan. 

Japan had won the admiration of the whole world 
by its deeds of arms. The new era had produced 
fine fruit. It was evident that the Japanese nation 
understood how to assimilate the technical inventions 
and the military drill of Europe and to employ it 
themselves. But they did not owe their splendid 
success to that alone. Their character, their long 
inherited warlike spirit, was what chiefly evoked 
praise in this war. It is rightly expressed by Professor 
Nitobe in his " Bushido : " " It has been said that 
Japan owed her success in her last war with China 
to Murata rifles and Krupp guns, to her adoption of 
modern systems of education — but those are only 
half-truths. The most perfect guns and cannon do 
not shoot of themselves. The modern system of 
education does not make a hero out of a coward. 
No! What won the battles on the Yalu, in Korea 
and in Manchuria were the spirits of our ancestors 
who guided our hands and who were enthroned in 
our hearts. They are not dead, the spirits of our 


warlike forefathers. For those who have eyes to see, 
they are clearly visible. " 

On March 19th China sent its celebrated diplomatist, 
Li-Hung-Tschang, with his son to Japan. The 
negociations for peace took place in Shimonoseki (or 
Bakan). Japan was represented by the Prime Minister, 
It5 Hirobumi, and Mutsu Munemitsu, Minister of 
Foreign affairs. Peace was concluded on April 17th. 

The terms of the Peace of Shimonoseki were as 
follows : 

1. China recognised the absolute independence of 


2. The following places were to be ceded to Japan. 

a. The Lian-Tung peninsula. 

b. The island of Formosa (or Taiwan) and the 
small islands thereto belonging. 

c. The island of Hokoto. 

3. China to pay Japan a war indemnity of two 

hundred million taels. 

4. China to open to Japanese trade in addition to 

the places already accessible Schaschi in Hupet, 
Tschung-King in Szet-schnan, Sutschou in 
Kiangsu and Hang-tschow in Tschekiang. 

5. As guarantee for the execution of the Treaty, 

China to cede the fortress of Wei-hai-wei to 
Japan which was to be evacuated by Japan after 
payment of the indemnity and fulfilment of all 
the other conditions. 

But Russia objected to these terms. She saw 
obstacles to her own plans in the cession of the 


peninsula of Lian-tung to Japan. She had already 
thoughts of acquiring Port Arthur for her maritime 
operations. Russia was supported at Tokio by 
German and French diplomacy. Those powers 
founded their objection on the fact that the garrison of 
Lian-tung by Japan would threaten peace in the far 
east. There was nothing left for Japan except to yield, 
and full of bitter anger she saw herself deprived of the 
reward for which she had so bravely fought and 
which she so well deserved. Ito Hirobumi was 
forced to sign the treaty on November 8th, 1895, 
giving up Lian-tung to China for an increase of the 
war indemnity by 30 million taels. 

The germ of the Russo-Japanese war lay in this 
treaty. For Japan had no idea of permanently 
submitting to Russia's desire of expansion, and 
waited for the time when she could meet that great 
power on terms of military equality. 

The possession of the island of Formosa caused 
some fighting. The Chinese population of Formosa 
rebelled under the leadership of the Chinese Su- 
Yung-Fu, the well-known head of the " Black Flag," 
a party in China which had made so stubborn a 
resistance to the invasion of Cochin China by the 
French. Japan sent a large army to Formosa under 
the command of Prince Kitashirakawa-no-miya 
The rebellion was entirely put down by the middle of 



As we have seen, the first commercial treaties were 
concluded by the Shogunate government in 1858. 
At a period of domestic unrest, and of a weak foreign 
policy, it had granted great advantages to 
foreign powers at the expense of the Japanese 
Empire. The duty which Japan laid on foreign im- 
ports was very low. It was, moreover, especially 
derogatory and offensive to Japan that all foreigners 
were subject not to the Japanese courts of justice 
but to special consular courts of their own. Japan in 
that matter was treated like an uncivilized nation, 
and the circumstance often led to great injustice. 
The treaties of 1858 were made worse for Japan 
in the following years, for numerous attacks were 
made on the foreigners, and in compensation Japan 
had to make further concessions to the foreign powers. 
It was natural that the advancement of civilization in 
the Japanese nation should cause a demand for the 
revision of the existing treaties. 

In 1878, Terajima Munenori, minister for foreign 
affairs, had approached England with a proposal of 


revision, which England refused. In 1882 Japan 
renewed her proposals, and entered into negotiations 
with all the foreign powers who showed themselves 
willing to make a few concessions. England pro- 
posed to abolish the consular courts, and to establish 
mixed courts, formed of both Japanese and foreign 
judges. But the announcement of these proposals 
raised a storm of opposition among the Japanese 
people. Okuma Shigenobu, the foreign minister who 
desired to accede to the English compromise of 
mixed courts was violently attacked, and in 1889 lost 
his right leg through a bomb thrown by a patriot. 
The negociations therefore fell through. 

It was not till August 27th, 1894, due to the 
impression produced by the glorious successes of the 
Japanese arms in China, that the foreign minister, 
Mutsu Munemitsu was able to conclude a new 
commercial treaty with England which fulfilled the 
Japanese requirements. Treaties with the other 
powers on a similar basis were soon concluded ; with 
Germany, April 4th, 1896. 

These commercial treaties abolished the consular 
courts, introduced a higher protection tariff for Japan, 
opened the whole country to foreigners, and set some 
new ports free for trade with foreign powers. But 
the qualification still held that foreigners might only 
acquire a small amount of landed property, a qualifica- 
tion that was not removed until 1910. 



The war between Japan and China made the 
Eastern question and Eastern affairs a focus of 
interest in Europe, and in the policy of the Great 
Powers. Russia, in particular, was making every 
effort to secure a firm position on the coasts of 
Eastern Asia. With a vast expenditure of strength 
she completed the Trans-Siberian railway. But the 
other Great Powers also tried to secure influence 
in the far east. In November, 1897, Germany 
occupied the port of Kiau-Tshou, on the south coast 
of the peninsula of Shantung, in order to have a foot- 
ing for her fleet, and on March 6th, 1898, made an 
agreement with the Chinese government by which the 
Bay of Kiau-Tshou with the adjacent territory was 
leased to the German Empire for 99 years. During 
this time Russia had also been negociating with the 
Chinese government, and on March 27th, 1898, con- 
cluded with China a deed of conveyance for 25 years 
for the south-west portion of the peninsula of Lian- 
tung with Port Arthur. The treaty also allowed 
Russia to continue the Trans-Siberian railway through 


Manchuria to Niu-Tschwang and the ports of Port 
Arthur and Ta-lien-wan (Dairen). On April 2nd, 
1898, England received Wei-hai-wei on condition 
that she would cede it to China when Port Arthur 
again became Chinese. England took possession of 
the port and the islands belonging to it and about 
460 square miles of the adjacent mainland. France 
would not be left out, and in the same month and 
year obtained a deed of conveyance for 99 years for 
the Bay of Kwan-tshou on the coast of the province 
of Canton. The next year she received in addition 
the island of Tung-shan and some smaller islands. 
She acquired in all about 521 square miles. 

These great sacrifices to which China had to consent 
roused in the nation great indignation which was 
directed against all foreigners. The imperial family 
did nothing to suppress the movement, indeed, it 
rather assisted in stirring up hatred of the foreigner. 
The exasperation was keenest in the north, in the 
neighbourhood of Tientsin and Peking. That district 
was the seat of the so-called Boxer rebellion of 

A plot was made against the foreigners, the 
purpose of which was a rebellion. The members 
of the conspiracy called themselves Giwadan, i.e. 
peace and patriotic union. The league began 
public action at the commencement of 1900. Many 
foreigners, among them Japanese, soon fell victims. 
The native Christians were cruelly persecuted. The 
rebels destroyed the railways in every direction. In 
May the German Ambassador and a secretary of the 


Japanese embassy were murdered. The embassies of 
the Foreign Powers at Peking were besieged. The 
English admiral, Sir Edward Seymour, marched to 
their assistance with an army composed of European, 
American and Japanese troops, but had to turn back 
without doing anything, (ioth-26th June). TheChinese 
government secretly supported the rebels. They 
openly opposed the foreign auxiliary troops, e.g. at 
the defence of the fort of Taku and of Tientsin. The 
Japanese played an important part in the storming, 
of the fort of Taku (June 17th) by the foreign powers 
and in the righting at Tientsin (July 14th). Japan 
sent the 5th division under the command of Lieu- 
tenant-General Yamaguchi to the seat of war, 6th 
July. The timely release of the embassies shut up 
in Peking is mainly due to the speedy intervention of 
this large contingent of Japanese troops (15th August.) 

By the peace signed on December 22nd, 1901, 
China had to pay the Foreign Powers 400,000,000 
taels war indemnity. 

The importance of this outbreak against the 
foreigners was that it afforded Russia an opportunity 
to secure a firm military footing in Manchuria. She 
had been striving with all her force to carry out the 
construction of the Manchurian railway, had made 
expensive military settlements, and under pretext of 
protecting the railway from Chinese attacks, had 
located there 200,000 men. Thus Manchuria, and 
also the much disputed peninsula of Liantung, were 
entirely under the military power of Russia. Russia 
had reaped advantages to herself out of this to her not 


unwelcome rebellion as she had out of the Chino- 
Japanese war. But Japan stood in the way of the 
further execution of her plan of securing a great 
position in the far east. 



The tension between Russia and Japan had existed 
ever since Russia's interference in the conditions of 
the Peace of Shimonoseki between Japan and China. 
The Japanese had to look on while Russia appro- 
priated the booty for which they had so bravely 
fought. Japan had followed with great anxiety the 
expansion of the Russian power during the Boxer 
rebellion. It was to be feared that Korea, where 
already so much Japanese blood had been spilled and 
with which Japan was so closely bound through its 
history, would fall a prey to the Russian lust of 
conquest. The question, in whose possession that 
district was to be in the future, was one of life and 
death to Japan. If Russia became lord of the Sea 
of Japan, then Japan must for ever abandon the hope 
of winning a position of equality among the great 

Japan now came to an understanding with England 
who looked on at the Russian expansion with great 
misgiving. In February, 1902, the two powers con- 
cluded a treaty in which they bound themselves to 


stand together for the independence of China and 
Korea. The treaty further stipulated that if either of 
the powers was attacked by two great powers the 
other should come to its assistance with all its military 
forces. It was hoped by this means to frighten 
Russia from making further encroachments. 

Supported by her powerful ally, the Japanese 
government entered into negociations with Russia. 
It demanded the withdrawal of the troops from Man- 
churia. But Russia had not the smallest intention of 
abandoning the further prosecution of her policy ; she 
sought to delay the negociations as long as possible 
in order to strengthen and reinforce her troops in Man- 
churia. The counter-proposals delivered at last on 
October 3rd, 1903, resembled a challenge. The es- 
sential points were: both powers to maintain the 
independence and integrity of Korea ; Russia would 
recognise Japan's interests in Korea. Japan must 
undertake to place no fortifications on the Korean 
road, and must acknowledge that Manchuria lay out- 
side its sphere of interest. The position Russia 
would hold with regard to Manchuria was not men- 

That Russia should have staked so much on her 
enterprises in the far east and that she should seek to 
bring about so dangerous a war is easily understood. 
Great interests for the empire of the Czar were here 
at stake. The success of her plans in the far east 
meant an enormous increase of power for Russia. 
The acquisition of Manchuria with excellent ports 
both for war and commerce which were already partly 


provided with expensive works, and the railway con- 
nected with the European continent would have made 
Russia the strongest power in the east. The mastery 
of the Eastern Sea would have given her the prospect 
of enormous economic profit. It would have meant 
only one road for trade from the Manchurian trading 
ports on the Yellow Sea to the Eastern Sea. Her 
great Asiatic possessions would have been objects of 
immense value. Just as for Japan this question was 
one of life and death, on it depended for Russia her 
future position in the world. The value of such ad- 
vantages for the political power and economic life of 
the empire of the Czar made it worth while to venture 
on a dangerous war. 

Even after the unacceptable proposals made by 
Russia on October 3rd, the Japanese government 
continued the negociations, but as was to be expected 
without success. On February 6th, 1904, a final note 
was sent to the government at St. Petersburg, break- 
ing off the negociations, and declaring that Japan 
would now proceed as was necessary for the protec- 
tion of her threatened position, and the safety of 
her rights and interests. Kurino, the Japanese am- 
bassador at St. Petersburg, was recalled on February 
8th. The official declaration of war followed on 
February 10th. 

The Japanese fleet had already on February 6th, 
sailed under the command of Vice-Admiral Togo 
Heihachiro from the port of Sasebo to the south-west 
coast of Korea. Arrived there, Rear-Admiral Uriu 
separated from it with a division of cruisers in order 


to take possession of Tschemulpo where two Russian 
ships were lying-. The chief division under Togo 
went on to Port Arthur. 

The greater part of the Port Arthur Russian fleet 
lay in the outer roadstead, for the inner harbour was 
not sufficiently ready. It did not expect to be at- 
tacked and had taken no precautions. In the nights 
8th to 9th February, the Japanese made a successful 
torpedo attack by which two big Russian ironclads 
and a cruiser were damaged. 

Rear-Admiral Uriu was also successful at 
Tschemulpo. In the night 8th to 9th February he 
secretly landed two regiments in the neighbourhood 
of the port which marched immediately to the capital, 
Seoul. The next day he forced the Russian cruisers 
to a fight, and they fled back into the harbour. The 
Russian commander sank both ships. The Japanese 
took possession of Tschemulpo where it was intended 
to land the first Japanese army. 

Admiral Togo tried to blockade the harbour of Port 
Arthur by sinking old steamships, bombarded it, 
made torpedo attacks on it, and laid mines. But 
these attempts did not bring the desired result. The 
Russian admiral Stark was recalled, and Admiral 
Makarov appointed Commander-in-chief at Port 
Arthur. On the morning of April 13th there was a 
fight between Russian and Japanese torpedo boats. 
Admiral Makarov sent out the whole of his fleet. 
But when he eame in sight of the Japanese fleet 
drawn up for the attack, and recognised their 
superiority, he gave the order to retreat. His 


flagship Petropavlovsk struck a mine, and im- 
mediately sank. Makarov and all his crew were 
killed. A second ironclad was also considerably 
damaged by a mine during the retreat. Later Togo 
succeeded in completely blockading the harbour. 

In February the Russian cruisers lying at 
Vladivostock sailed over to the coast of Japan and 
destroyed a Japanese merchant vessel. In return 
Admiral Kamimura went over to Vladivostock with 
some cruisers, and bombarded it on March 6th. Not 
much was thereby gained, and he soon departed. In 
the further course of the war Vladivostock played no 
essential part. 

Immediately after the victory at Tschemulpo the 
1 2th division embarked at Nagasaki and on February 
17th landed at Tschemulpo, and at once marched to 
Seoul. The Emperor of Korea made an alliance 
with the Japanese and granted them the right of 
making what use they pleased of Korea so long as 
the war lasted. More troops were landed at 
Tschemulpo and at Tshinampo, situated to the 
north of Tschemulpo. By the end of April the 
Japanese had three divisions on the Yalu, the river 
dividing Korea from Manchuria. They formed the 
first Japanese army. General Kuroki was in 

On February 20th, Kuropatkin, formerly minister 
of war, took over the command of the Russian 
troops. He arrived on March 27th, at Liau-yang, 
the head-quarters of the Russian army in Manchuria. 
General Stossel was governor of Port Arthur. 


The Russians, as the Japanese had been doing, 
pushed on troops to the Yalu. There, on the 
morning of May 1st, a fierce battle was fought which 
ended in the defeat and retreat of the Russians. 
Their losses were: 30 officers and 581 men killed; 
31 officers and 1,022 men wounded; 2 officers 
and 524 men taken prisoner by the Japanese. The 
Japanese losses were : 5 officers and 180 men killed ; 
25 officers and 690 men wounded. Military supplies, 
21 cannon and 8 machine guns fell into the hands 
of the victors. 

The first victory over a well equipped modern 
European army in the open field raised the courage 
of the Japanese. 

Soon after the battle of the Yalu, Japanese troops 
were landed at Pi-Asje-wo, a short distance from 
Port Arthur. On May 5th the 1st, 3rd and 4th 
divisions, and the 1st field artillery brigade disem- 
barked there. Their aim was to act in concert with 
the Japanese fleet against Port Arthur. The Russians 
had assembled about 27,000 men in the town of Kin- 
Tshou for the protection of Port Arthur. The 
Japanese directed a fierce artillery fire against it, 
stormed it on May 25th and took it after severe 
fighting. Sixty-eight cannon and 10 machine guns 
came into their possession. The Russians retired in the 
direction of Port Arthur. On May 28th the Japanese 
pushed forward a division to the hill of Hou-na-kwan- 
ling, and therefore General Stossel retreated to Port 

By the Czar's orders Kuropatkin sent a division of 



the Manchurian army to the assistance of the hard 
pressed fortress. To prevent it joining with the 
garrison of Port Arthur, the Japanese sent the 4th 
division, the first field artillery brigade, and later the 
3rd division under the command of General Oku, 
by forced marches to the north. They came up with 
the Russian auxiliary force at Toku-ri-ji. A fierce 
battle ensued in which the Japanese were again the 
victors. The Russians suffered great losses and 
retreated to the chief army at Liau-yang. General 
Oku went after them in hot pursuit. Since their 
departure from Kin-Tshou, his troops formed the 
second Japanese army which henceforth acted in- 
dependently against the Manchurian army. 

The troops that had remained at Port Arthur 
under General Nogi which now formed the third 
Japanese army, consisted of the 1st and 1 ith divisions, 
and was soon augmented by the 9th division, the 1st 
and 4th reserve brigade, the 2nd field artillery 
brigade and a regiment of heavy artillery. At the 
end of June they- concentrated their energy on the 
siege of Port Arthur. 

A fourth Japanese army was formed of the rest of 
the troops that had left their native land, under the 
command of General Nozu. Immediately on landing 
at Ta-ko-shan, it marched north and took part in the 
operations against the Manchurian army which 
continued to hold the defensive at Liau-yang. Field- 
Marshal Oyama was commander-in-chief of the three 
united Japanese armies. 

The three armies (I, II, IV,) began the attack on 


Liau-yang from different sides on August 30th. The 
victory was again to the Japanese. General 
Kuropatkin saved the greater part of his army by 
a cautious retreat for which he deserves every praise. 
The Japanese marched into Liau-yang on September 
7th. The number of killed and wounded on the 
Russian side was 1 6,000, on the Japanese 17,000. The 
latter gained a large amount of booty. 

The Russians had retreated in the direction of 
Mukden, and took up a position to the south of the 
river Hun-ho. The Japanese pursued them and 
intrenched themselves opposite in the plain of San-ho. 
A battle was begun on October 9th which lasted 
until October 18th. After a terrible struggle, Oyama 
and his three armies were victorious. The Rus- 
sians lost 800 officers and 45,000 men, and the 
Japanese had 15,878 killed and wounded together. 
After this great defeat the Russians retreated to 

Meanwhile the third Japanese army was spending 
all its strength on the siege of Port Arthur. At the 
first general attack on August 19th, the western fort, 
Banriu, was taken, at the second on September 19th, 
the forts of Stossel and Kuropatkin fell into their 
hands, and the third, on October 26th, gave them the 
fort, Keikan-San, on. the east. 

Their bold proceedings at Port Arthur led to great 
losses on the Japanese side. But they could not 
avoid the sacrifice. For, as we shall see, Russia's 
Atlantic fleet was on the way, and everything 
depended on the taking of Port Arthur before its 


arrival, so that the Japanese sea-power should have 
the upper hand. 

Admiral Togo encouraged the land forces to do 
their utmost. 

After the third general attack, the Japanese 
succeeded in gaining possession of a hill about 600 
feet high, whence the Russian ships that lay in the 
admirable harbour safe from Japanese attacks, could 
be carefully watched. The Japanese brought up 
heavy artillery behind the hill, and shooting under 
cover, on November 30th, destroyed the whole of the 
Russian Port Arthur fleet. 

The fourth general attack was made on December 
26th when some important forts were taken. These 
successes of the Japanese forced General Stossel to 
capitulate. In recognition of their courage, the 
victors allowed the Russian officers to keep their 
swords, and to return to their native land. 

The fortress was surrendered on January 1st, 1905. 
The Japanese came into possession of 641 prisoners, 
528 cannon, 206,734 artillery shells, 36,598 rifles, 
5,450,240 bullets, etc. But these great military stores 
counted little beside the importance of the possession 
of the harbour for the further prosecution of the naval 
war which through the despatch of Russia's Atlantic 
fleet to the seat of war, entered on a new phase. 

After the battle in the plain of San-ho, the opposing 
forces consisted of 300,000 Russians and 260,000 
Japanese. The Japanese were reinforced by the 
third army which after the taking of Port Arthur 
marched north against the Manchurian army. The 


four Japanese armies united on March 1st, 1905, in 
storming Mukden. The battle, which is one of the 
most splendid in the world's history, lasted for 10 
days, and was fought on both sides with unexampled 
self-sacrifice and stubbornness. 120,000 Russians 
fell in the fight, and 40,000 were taken prisoner. The 
Japanese who fell numbered 41,222. On March 10th, 
the Japanese marched into Mukden in triumph. 

The greater part of the Russian Atlantic fleet 
under command of Admiral Rovjestensky left 
Libau on October 12th, 1904, for the seat of war in 
order to go to the assistance of Port Arthur. The 
capture of the fortress and the destruction of the fleet 
here struck a severe blow at this maritime enterprise, 
but did not decide its fate. It was possible for the 
Russian squadron to destroy the Japanese fleet which 
equalled theirs in number, or at least to reach 
Vladiwostok and thence to conduct surprise attacks 
on the Japanese coast, and endanger the transports of 
Japan on their way to the seat of war. 

Part of the Russian fleet took the route round the 
Cape of Good Hope, and another part that through 
the Mediterranean. At the request of Admiral 
Rovjestensky, the Czar despatched the rest of the 
Atlantic fleet on February 5th, and it took the 
shorter Mediterranean route. The Russian squadrons 
met off the coast of Annan, and proceeded together 
to the north. The Japanese fleet had secretly taken 
up its position in the straits of Korea. Vladivostok 
could be reached by three routes : through the straits 
of Korea, through the straits of Tsugaru between the 


islands of Honto and Ezo, and through the straits of 
Soya, between the islands of Ezo and Saghalien. It 
was impossible for the Japanese navy to defend all 
three straits at one time, for they would not when 
divided have been equal to the Russian fleet. Togo 
reckoned that the enemy, through the strictest secrecy 
regarding the Japanese position, would take the 
nearest route through the straits of Korea. His 
assumption was correct. The Russians had no 
knowledge of the whereabouts of the Japanese fleet, 
and proceeded up the straits of Korea. 

At 5 a.m. in the morning of May 27th, one of the 
guardships posted in the south, sent the following 
message to Admiral Togo by wireless telegraphy : 
u The enemy's squadron has been sighted at point 
No. 203. The enemy is apparently steering towards 
the eastern passage." Between 10 and 11 o'clock the 
cruiser squadron under Vice-Admiral Kataoka, the 
division under Rear-Admiral Togo Masaji, and 
the division under Rear-Admiral Dewa came into 
touch with the enemy between the islands of Iki 
and Tsushoma. They did not answer their fire 
and contented themselves by telegraphing every 
moment all details of the enemy's position to 
Admiral T5go. Thus Togo knew before he came 
in sight of the enemy's fleet that its fighting line 
consisted of the whole strength of the second and 
third Atlantic squadron which were accompanied by 
about seven special service ships, that the ships were 
formed in two fore and aft lines, that the chief strength 
was at the head of the right line and the service ships 


were at the end, and that the whole armada was steer- 
ing north-east at a speed of about 1 2 knots. Togo could 
now make plans in accordance, and give his orders. 
The battle was begun at 2 o'clock by the Japanese, 
near Okinoshima. Togo signalled to all ships in 
sight the following message : " The existence of the 
Empire depends on this battle. Japan expects this 
day the courage and energy of every officer and every 
man in the fleet." Togd with the chief strength, the 
Dewa and Uriu divisions, went against the head of 
the left column ; the cruiser squadron and the Togo 
(Masaji) squadron steered south and attacked the 
enemy in the rear. The Russian fleet fell into dis- 
order, the two columns came to blows, and sought in 
vain to free themselves and escape from the net pre- 
pared for them by the Japanese. The battle lasted 
till sunset. At 20 minutes past seven Togo ordered 
his fleet to assemble at the island of Ullong. The 
issue of the fight was decidedly favourable to the 
Japanese. A large number of the finest Russian 
ships were sunk, the rest were almost without excep- 
tion badly damaged. The Japanese suffered no losses. 
In the night the destroyers and torpedo boats began 
to be active, and showed great boldness ; some of 
them approached so close to the Russian ships that 
the later could not shoot at them. The Japanese did 
an enormous amount of damage, but themselves only 
lost 3 torpedo-vessels. The next morning (May 28th) 
the Japanese fleet with its whole strength continued 
the work of destruction. At half-past 10 the Russian 
fleet was entirely surrounded at a point 18 nautical 


miles south of Takenoshima. Soon after the Japanese 
opened fire, Rear-Admiral Nebugatov declared the 
surrender of the 4 ships under his command. The 
battle against the rest continued until noon. Then the 
destroyer Bjedovie, on board which was Admiral 
Rovjestensky and his staff, hoisted the white flag. 
Of the whole Russian fleet which had consisted of 38 
ships, only two returned to Vladivostok. Of the 
rest, 23 were sunk, 7 were captured and 6 disarmed at 
Shanghai. The Japanese lost only the 3 torpedo- 

This brilliant and remarkable naval victory 1 sig- 
nified not only the* end of the Russian fleet, but also 
the end of the severe and momentous struggle. 

In spite of her heavy losses and of the revolution 
that had taken place at home during the war, the 
great Russian empire was not by a long way at the 
end of her power. It was not difficult for Russia 
quickly to reinforce and increase her Manchurian 
army, and in spite of the defeats she had suffered, to 
make a successful stand against victorious but 
exhausted Japan. But the terrible impression of the 
last Japanese naval victory deprived Russia of 
courage to prosecute the war farther and inclined her 
to consider proposals for peace. 

Soon after the naval battle in the Sea of Japan, 
Mr. Roosevelt, President of the United States, on 
June 9th, 1905, invited Japan and Russia to negociate 

1 Called in Japan " Naval battle in the Sea of Japan," in 
Europe " the battle of Tsushima." 


conditions of peace. The proposal was accepted by 
both nations. Japan appointed as her pleni- 
potentiaries Ko-Mura Jutard, minister for foreign 
affairs, and Takahira Kogoro, her ambassador to 
the United States. Russia sent Witte a former 
minister of finance, and Rosen, formerly ambassador 
to Japan, to the peace conference. The plenipo- 
tentiaries met at Portsmouth, Maine, in the United 
States, on August 9th, 1905, and after 11 meetings 
peace was signed on August 29th. 

The most important articles of the Peace of 
Portsmouth are : 

Russia recognises that from the political, military 
and administrative standpoints, Japan's interests in 
Korea are supreme, and undertakes not to oppose 
the measures of government, protection and control 
which Japan deems necessary in agreement with the 
Korean government to take (Art 2). 

Both powers shall withdraw their troops from 
Manchuria which is to remain Chinese (Art. 3). 

The Russian rights of rental of Port Arthur, Ta- 
lien, and the abutting land and sea to be surrendered 
entirely to Japan (Art 4). 

The Manchurian railway to be divided between 
Russia and Japan at Kuang-Tscheng-Tse. Both 
divisions to be used only in the interests of trade and 
industry ; Russia keeps all the rights acquired for the 
construction of the railway through her stipulations 
with China (Art. 6). 

Russia and Japan are bound to join their roads at 
Kuang-Tscheng-Tse (Art. 7). 



Russia relinquishes the southern part of Saghalien 
to the 50th degree of latitude to Japan (Art. 8). 

The Japanese nation regarded the peace, con- 
sidering their achievement, as extremely unfavourable. 
They were especially disappointed at the lack of any 
war indemnity. The angry excitement in Tokio rose 
so high that the police buildings were burnt down. 

But although the peace was a disappointment to 
the victorious nation, it meant a great extension of 
Japanese power and influence. The Japanese 
gained a territory for their civilization and their 
economic activities measuring two-thirds of the 
extent of their empire hitherto. A stream of 
Japanese emigrants at once poured into the new 
territory; by May 1910 there were 157,000 Japanese 
in Korea. Immediately after the conclusion of 
peace, Japan appointed a Resident-General to 
govern the country, and he ruled it actually his own 
way, though formally in the name of the Emperor of 
Korea. Attempts on the part of Korea to restore 
the independence of the empire were unsuccessful 
and at the moment of concluding this history, 1 the 
Japanese can, by the treaty concluded with Russia 
in June, 19 10, incorporate the Korean empire with 
their own without any opposition from the Powers. 

1 August 29, 1 9 10. 


Abe Masahiro, 178, 179 

Abe-no-Hirafu, the general, 41 

Abe-no-Nakamaro, the scholar, 49 

Abe-no-Yoritoki, 67 

Abe Tadaaki, 165 

Achiki, 21 

Achino-mi, 21 

Adams, William, 157 

Aga-no-gawa, the river, 197 

Ainus, the, I, 2, 12, 13, 41, 51 

Aizu, town of, 141, 197 

Akamatsu family, the 112 

Akamatsu Norimura, 97, 102, 103 

Akechi Mitsuhide, 132 

Akitsuki, 210 

Alexander the Great, 31 

Amako family, 122 

Amakusa, island of, 162, 163 

Amakuwa (Makao), 157 

Amaterasu-Omikami, temple of, 147 

Amaterasu-Omikami, the Sun- 
goddess, 7, 8, 26 

Ancestor-worship, 27 

Ando Nobumasa, 183 

Anegawa, the, 130 

Annan, 157, 245 

Antoku-Tenno, 81st Emperor, 79, 
80, 81 

Aoka Todasuke, 170 

Arai Hakuseki, 169 

Arima, 157 

Arisugawa - no - miya Taruhito, 
prince, 194, 195, 196, 211 

Asan (Gazan), 223, 224 

Asakura family, the, 130 

Asai family, the, 130 

Ashikaga family, the, 97, 116, 118, 
120, 125, 129, 131 

Ashikaga Takauji, 98, 102, 103, 
104, 105, 106 

Ashikaga Yoshiaki, 119, 130, 131 

As:hikaga Yoshiharu, 119 

Ashikaga Yoshihide, 119 

Ashikaga Yoshitane, 119 
Atlantic Ocean, 158 
Atsuchi, castle of, 133 
Awa, province of, 121 

Bakan, fort of, 185 

Bakan straits, 185 

Balz, 1 

Bathu, 91 

Benkei, 87 

Biwa, lake of, 42 

Boxer rebellion, 233, 234, 236 

Buddhism, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 

48, 53. 93, 94, 125, 131, 132, 

Bushido, 151, 152, 153, 154, 203, 


Cape of Good Hope, 157, 245 

Chamberlain, I 

Chang-an, capital of Chinese 
Empire, 51 

Chikamatsu Monzaimon, the 
dramatist, 166 

China, 18, 23, 30, 31, 33, 41, 42, 
45, 46, 49, 53, 65, 91, 117, 
124, 125, 126, 137, 138, 139, 
1^9, 209, 211, 220, 221, 223, 
227, 228, 229, 232, 233, 236, 

Chinese, language of the, 2 
Chin-han (Shinkan), 17 
Chosen (or Chosun) dynasty, 124 
Chosun (Ch5sen), state of, 17 
Chosokabe Motochika, 122, 135 
Chuai-Tenno, 14th Emperor, 16 
Chukio-Tenno, 85th Emperor, 89, 

Cochin China, 229 
Confucius, bible of, 21 
Confucius, teaching of, 165, 166 



Daigagu-ji, temple of, 97 
Daigo-Tenno, 60th Emperor, 59, 

60, 64, 65 
Dan-no-ura Sea, 81 
Date Masamune, 122, 158 
Dewa, province of, 167 
Dokid, Buddhist priest, 48, 49 
Doncho of Korea, Buddhist priest, 

. 32 
Dsingiskhan, 91 
Dutch, the, 156, 157, 164, 171, 176 

Echigo, province of, 121, 197 

Edo, 141 

Emishi, 85 

England, 179, 182, 230, 231, 233, 

Enomoto Takeaki, 198 
Enriakuji, temple of, 73, 130 
Eskimos, the, 2 
Eto Shimpei, 208, 209 
Ezo (Hokkaido), island of, 1, 176, 

177, 179, 198, 205, 246 

Finns, language of the, 2 
Formosa (Taiwan), 137, 159, 160, 

209, 228, 229 
France, 182, 233 

Fujiwara family, the 43, 52, 57, 58, 
59, 61, 63, 64, 65, 67, 71, 72, 
73,76,86,89,93, in, 135,188 
Fujiwara Fubito, 44 
Fujiwara Hidesato, 63 
Fujiwara Ietaka, the poet, 93 
Fujiwara Kanera, the poet, 117 
Fujiwara Michinaga, 64, 65 
Fujiwara Narichika, 78 
Fujiwara Nobuzane, the painter, 95 
Fujiwara Shunzei, the poet, 93 
Fujiwara Sumitomo, 62, 63 
Fujiwara Tadahira, 62 
Fujiwara Takaie, 66 
Fujiwara Teika, the poet, 93 
Fushimi-Tenno, 92nd Emperor, 96 
Fushimi, town of, 135 
Fusan, port of, 219 

GemmiS-Tenno, the Empress (43rd 
Emperor), 47, 51 

Genkai Sea, 17 

Gensan, 219 

Gensho, the Empress (44th 
Emperor), 47, 48 

Germany, 232 

Go-Daigo-Tenno, 96th Emperor, 
97, 98, 101, 102, 103, 104, 
105, 106 

Go-Fukakusa-Tenno, 89th Emper- 
or, 96, 97 

Go-Fushimi- Tenno, 93rd Emperor, 

Go-Horikawa-Tenno, 73rd Emper- 
or, 90 

Go-Kameyama-Tenno, 99th Emper- 
or, 106 

Go ■ Kashiwahara - Tenno, 104th 
Emperor, 118, 120 

Go-Komatsu-Tenno, 100th Emper- 
or, 106 

Go-Mitsunoo-Tenno, 108th Emper- 
or, 149 

Go-Murakami-Tenno, 97th Emper- 
or, 105 

Go-Nara-Tenn5, 105th Emperor, 
118, 120 

Go-Reizei-Tenno, 67 

Goriokaku, fortress of, 198 

Go-Saga-Tenno, 88th Emperor, 96 

Go-Shirakawa-Tenno, 77th 

Emperor, 75, 77, 78, 80 

Go-Sunjo-Tenno, 71st Emperor, 


Go-Toba-Tenno, 82nd Emperor, 

80, 85, 89, 90, 93 
Go-Tsuchimikado-Tenno, 103rd 

Emperor, 118, 120 
Go-Uda-Tenno, 91st Emperor, 92, 

Goto Yujo, 117 
Gregorian calendar, introduction of, 


Hagi, 210 

Hai-yang, island of, 224 



Hakata, bay of, 91 

Hakodate, 180 

Hakone, mountains of, 102 

Hamada Yahei, 159 

Ham-gyung, 138 

Han (Kan), 17 

Hang-tschou, 228 

Hara, fortress of, 163 

Harakiri, 152, 154, 197 

Harris Kam, 180 

Hasekura Tsunenaga, 158 

Hataka, town of, 126 

Hatakeyama family, the no, 113, 

IJ 9 

Hayashi Daigaku-no-kami, 166 

Hayashi Doshun, 165 

Hayasui, straits of, 9 

Heguri, 27 

Heiankio, 51 

Heijei-Tenno, 51st Emperor, 51, 52 

Hekiteikan, 138 

Hidachi, province of, 62, 63, 1 70 

Hidetada, 145, 149 

Hidetata, 162 

Hidetsugu, 137 

Hideyori, 146 

Hieda-no-Ares, 48 

Hiei, hill of, 102, 104 

Hiei, temple of, 53 

Higashiyama-Tenno, 113th 

Emperor, 170 

Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto, grand- 
father of the 1st Emperor, 8 

Hiogo (Kobe), 103, 180, 199 

Hirata Atsutane, 174 

Hirato, island of, 126, 157 

Hiroshima, 224 

Hishikawa Moronobu, the painter, 

l6 7 

Hiuga, province of, 8 

H6j5 family, the, 87, 89, 98, 121, 

Hojo Soun (or Ise Naganji), 121 
Hojo Takatoki, 97, 98 
Hojo Tokimasa, 77, 79, 88 
Hoj5 Tokimune, 91, 92, 96 
HOjo Tokiyuki, 102 
Hojo Yasutoki, 90 
Hojo Yoshitoki, 88, 89, 90 
Hoki, province of, 98 

Hokoto, 228 

Holland, 179, 182, 198 

Honen-Shonin, Buddhist priest, 94 

Hou-na-kwanling, 241 

Honnoji, fortress of, 132 

Honto, island of, 7, 246 

Hoodo, royal temple of, 66 

Horigoe, 115 

Horiuji, temple of, 31, 32 

Hosokawa family, the no 

Hosokawa Katsumoto, 112 

Hosokawa Masamoto, 118 

Hosokawa Yoriyuki, 109 

Hotta Masahiro, 180, 181 

Hun-ho, the liver, 243 

Hupet, 228 

Hwa-Yen (Ka-en-ko), 225 

Iemitsu, 147, 148, 162 
Ieharu, 172 
Ienari, 172, 173 
Iesada, 179 
Ieshige, 172 
Ietsugu, 170 
Ieyasu, 169, 170 
Ieyoshi, 178 
Ii Naosuke, 181, 182 
Iki, island of, 66 
Ikoma, mountain of, 9 
Imagawa family, the, 140 
Imagawa Yoshimoto, 1 29 
India, 31, 137, 157 
Indian Ocean, 157 
Ino-Chukei, 177 

Insignia of the Japanese Empire, 8 
Iruka, 35 

Ise, province of, 14 
Ise Naganji (or Hojo Soun), 115 
Ishida Mitsunari, 141, 142 
Itagaki Taisuke, 208 
Itakura Shigemasa, the general, 163 
ItO Hirobumi, 215, 221, 228, 229 
Ito Yuko, 224 
Ito Jinsai, 166 
Iwai, 25 

Iwakura Tomomi, 208 
Iwasa Matabei, the painter, 167 
Izanagi-no-Mikot5, the god, 7 
Izanami-no-Mikoto, the goddess, 7 



Izu, province of, 77, 79, 115, HI, 

Izumo, province of, 7 

Java, 157 

Jesuits, the, 100, 161, 162, i7i, 

Jido-Tenno, the Empress (41st Em- 
peror), 48 

Ji-mio-in, 97 

Jimmu-Tenn5, 1st Emperor, 8, 9, 

Jingii-Kogo, wife of the 14th Em- 
peror, 16, 17, 18, 27 

Jocho, 66 

Jodo-Shu, Buddhist sect, 94 

Joei Year, 90 

Joshin, the tribe, 66 

Josten, Jan, 157 

Junnin, 47th Emperor, 47 

Juntoku-Tenno, 84th Emperor, 89, 


Kada Azumamaro, 171, 174 
Kagoshima, 126, 211, 212 
Kai, province of, 13, 121, 170 
Kaipmg, fortress of, 225 
Kakino - moto - no - Hitomaro, the 

song-writer, 50 
Kamakura, 81, 85, 86, 97, 101, 

102, 106, 110, 113, 114, IJ5, 

Kameyana-Tenn5, 90th Emperor, 

Kamimura, Admiral, 240 
Kami-worship, 26 
Kammu, 50th Emperor, 51 
Kamogawa, the river, 73 
Kamo Mabuchi, 174 
Kanagawa (Yokohama), 180 
Kaneiji, temple of, 196 
Kano-Masanobu, the painter, 117 
Kano Tanniu, the painter, 167 
Kanto, plain of, 13, 81, 101, 121, 

135, 140, 170 
Karak or Mimana, state of, 11, 16, 

17, 24, 25 
Kataoka, vice-admiral, 246 

Katsushika Hokusai, the painter, 

Kato Kiyomasa, 138, 139 
Katsuragi, 27 

Kawachi, province of, 21, 98 
Kazusa, province of, 13, 121 
Keichu, Buddhist priest, 166 
Keiko-Tenno, 12th Emperor, 12, 

Keitai-Tenno, 26th Emperor, 3, 24 

Keita, the Emperor, 27 

Kemmu year, 101 

Kenzo-Tenno, 23rd Emperor, 24 

Khubitai-khan, 91, 92 

Kiangsu, 228 

Kiau-Tshou, port of, 232 

Kibi-no-Makibi, the scholar, 49 

Kibi-no-Tasa, 24 

Kido Takayoshi, 188, 208 

Kii, province of, 9, 170, 182 

Ki-ja, Chinese prince, 16 

Kimmei-Tenno, 29th Emperor, 

Kino Haseo, 60 

Ki-no-Oyumi, general under the 
21st Emperor, 24 

Kin-Tshou, 241, 242 

Kino Tsurayuki, 60, 65 

Kioto, 51, 61, 62, 73, 85, 102, 103, 
106, 109, 113, 116, 126, 130, 
132, 135, Mi, 147, 149, 161, 
173, 175, 181, 184, 186, 199, 

Kirino Toshiaki, major-general, 

Kitamura Kigin, 166 

Kitashirakawa - no - miya, prince, 

Kin-lien-cheng (Kiu-ren-jo), fort- 
ress of, 225 

Kiusiu, island of, 8, 12, 18, 45, 
103, 122, 125, 135, 138, 177 

Kiyowara Takehira, the general, 

Kizuki, village of, 7 
Kobayakawa Takakage, 138 
Koga Kubo, the, 114, 121 
Kofukuji, temple of, 73 
Kobun-TennS, 39th Emperor, 43 



Koganei, Professor, 1 

Kogioku - Tenno, (Saimei - Tenno) 
35th Emperor, 35, 41, 42 

Kogon-Tenno, 97, 98, 103 

Ko-gu-ryu or Koma, 16, 17, 18, 24, 
25, 41, 42 

Kojiki, the, ancient Japanese 
Chronicle, 2, 3, 47, 174 

Koka, island of, 219 

Kokaku-Tenno, 119th Emperor, 

Koken the Empress, (46th Em- 
peror), 47, 48, 49 

Koko-Tenno, 58th Emperor, 58 

Komio-kogo, wife of Shomu-Tenno 

Komio-Tenno, Emperor of the 
northern dynasty, 103 

Ko-Mura Jutaro, 249 

Kongobuji, temple of, 53 

Konin, 49th Emperor, 47, 51 

Konishi Yoshinaga, 138 

Kono Moronao, 105 

Konoe-Tenno, 76th Emperor, 74 

Korea, 2, 11, 16, 18, 21, 24, 25, 
41, 42, 45, 91, 124, 125, 137, 
138, 139. 156, 169, 208, 218, 
219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 225, 
227, 228, 236, 237, 238, 240, 
245, 246, 249, 250 

Koreans, the, 2, 18, 21 

Korpogurus, the, a race of dwarfs, 2 

Kose Kanaoka, the painter, 60 

Kotoku-Tenno, 36th Emperor, 39, 

4i, 44 
Koza, temple of, 72 
Kozuke, province of, 97, 121 
Kuang-Tscheng-Tse, 249 
Kiikai, Buddhist priest, 53, 65 
Kumano, temple of, 72 
Kumamoto, town of, 210, 211, 212 
Kuma-no-Ura, 9 
Kumaso, race of, 12, 16 
Kurile islands, 218 
Kurino, Japanese Ambassador at 

St. Petersburg, 238 
Kuropatkin, 240, 241, 243 
Kusuko, wife of Heijei-Tenno, 52 
Kusunoki Masashige, 97, 98, 103, 

104, 105 

Kusunoki Masatsura, 104, 105 
Kwan-tshou, bay of, 233 

Lian-tung peninsula, 225, 226, 228, 

229, 232, 234 
Liau-ho (Rioka), 227 
Liau-yang, 240, 242, 243 
Liegnitz, 91 
Li-Hung-Tschang, 221, 228 


Maeda Toshiie, 141 

Ma-han (Bakan), 17 

Makarov, admiral, 239, 240 

Mamiya straits, 177 

Manchuria, 66, 177, 225, 233, 234, 

237, 240, 249 
Manchurians, the, 2 
Mangkan, King of the Mongols, 91 
Marco Polo, the Venetian traveller, 

Maruyama Okio, the painter, 173 
Masatomo, 114, 115 
Masuda Tokisada, 162, 163 
Matsudaira Katamori, prince of 

Aizu, 186, 193, 194, 195, 196, 

Matsudaira Nobutsuna, 163, 165 
Matsudaira Sadanobu, 172, 173 
Matsunaga family, the, 130 
Matsunaga Hisahide, 119 
Matsuo Basho, the song-writer, 166 
Mediterranean, the, 245 
Mexico (Nova Hispania), 157 
Michinoomi - no - Mikoto, general 

under the 1st Emperor, 9 
Michizane, 59, 60 
Mido, temple of, 65 
Mikawa, province of, 140 
Minamoto, the, 63, 67, 73, 77, 79, 

81, 85, 86, 88, 89, 93, 140, 145 
Minamoto Tsune-moto, 63 
Minamoto Yoritomo, 79, 80, 81, 

85, 86 , 87, 88, 188 
Minamoto Yoshinaka, 80, 8 1 
Minamoto Yoshitomo, 74, 76, 77 
Ming, Chinese dynasty of, 124, 

Mmo, province of, 130 



Mishihase or Makkatsu, 41 

Mito, 166, 182, 188 

Miya, 169 

Miyako, 198 

Miyako-no-Yoshika, the scholar, 52 

Miyoshi Chokei, 119 

Miyoshi family, the, 130 

Miyoshi Kiyoyuki, the scholar, 60 

Mizuno Tadakuni, 178 

Mochiuji, 113, 114 

Mommu, 42nd Emperor, 44, 47 

Mongolia, 91, 124 

Mongolian nations, languages of, 2 

Mononobe family, the, 34 

Mononobe - no - Arakahi, general 

under the Emperor Keitai, 25 
Monotobu, the painter, 117 
Mori family, the, 122, 130, 133 
Mori Motonari, 122 
Morinaga, prince, 101, 102 
Moriya, son of Mononobe-no- 

Okoshi, 28 
Motoori Norinaga, 174 
Mototsune, 58, 59 
Mukden, 243, 245 
Murakami-Tenno, 62nd Emperor, 

Murasaki-Shikibu, 65 
Muro Kiiiso, 171 
Musashi, province of, 12 1 
Mutsu, chief town of the Ainus, 13 
Mutsu, province of, 67, 73, 87, 122, 

Mutsuhito, present Emperor of 

Japan, 188, 199 
Mutsu Munemitsu, 228, 231 


Nagasaki, 147, 164, 171, 176, 177, 

178, 180, 205, 209, 219 
Nagasunehiko, rebel in the reign 

of the 1st Emperor, 9 
Nagato (Choshu), 184 
Nagato, prince of, 186, 187, 188, 

198, 193, 194, 195, 202 
Nagoya, port of, 138 
Nakae Toju, 166 
Nakano-oe-Oji, name of 38th 

Emperor before his accession, 

35, 39> 41. 42 

Nakatomi-no-Kamatari, originator 
of the fall of the Soga family, 

35, 39, 42, 44, 57 
Naniwa (Osaka), 9, 28, 45 
Naniwa, palace at, 22 
Naohito, prince, 170 
Nara, 47, 49, 5 1, 93, 147 
Narinaga, prince, 101 
Nawa Nagatoshi, 97, 98 
Nebugatov, rear-admiral, 248 
Nichiren-Shonin, Buddhist priest, 


Nichiren-Shu, Buddhist sect, 94 
Nigihayahi-no-Mikoto, relative of 

the 1st Emperor, 9 
Nihonshoki, or Nihongi, ancient 

Japanese Chronicle, 2, 3, 16, 

18, 21, 48 
Niiagata, 180 
Nikko, 147 
Ninigi-no-Mikoto, grandson of 

Amaterasu-Omikami, 8 
Ninnaji-no-miya Yoshiaki, Prince, 

Nintoku-Tenno, 16th Emperor, 22 
Nitta family, the 97 
Nitta Yoshishada, 97, 102, 103 
Niu-tschwang, 227, 233 
Nobuatsu, 165 
Nobunaga, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 

Nobuyori, 76 
Nogi, general, 242 
Norinaga, prince, 101 
Noriyori, 88 
Nozu, lieutenant - general, 224, 

227, 242. 

Oama, prince, 43 
Oda family, the 123, 129, 130, 134 
Oda Nobuhide, 129 
Oda Nobunaga, 120, 123, 129, 16 1 
Odawara, stronghold of the Hojo 

family, 135 
Ogata Korin, the painter, 167 
Ogimachi-Tenno, 106th Emperor, 

118, 130 
Ogiu Sorai, 171 
Oiwa, son of the general, Ki-no- 

Oyumi, 24 



Ojin-Tenno, 15th Emperor, 18, 21 

Okehazama, battle of, 130 

Oki, island of, 97, 98 

Okinoshima, 247 

Okitomo, 172 

Oku, general, 242 

Okubo Toshimichi, 188, 208 

Okuma Shigenobu, 231 

Okuninushi-no-Mikoto, 7 

Omi, province of, 13, 131 

Omi-no-Mifune, the scholar, 52. 

O-Muraji, or Mononobe-no-Okoshi, 
27, 28 

Omura, 157 

Onin years, 113, 120 

Ono Harunaga, 145 

Ono-no-Takamura, the scholar, 52 

O no-Yasumaro, 47, 48 

Ono-no-Yoshifuru, 63 

O-omi, or Soga-no-Iname, 27, 28 

Osaka, port of, 135, 141, 146, 147, 
167, 194, 195, 205 

Osakabe, prince, 44 

Oshikochi Mitsune, the song-writer, 

Osumi, province of, 12 

Ota Dokan, 117 

Otomo, 157 

Otomo family, the 122 

Otomo-no-Kanamura, the chan- 
cellor, 24 

Otori Keisuke, 196, 197 

Ouchi family, the 122, 125 

Ouchi Yoshioki, 119 

Ouchi Yoshitaka, 122 

Owari, or Atsuta, province of, 13, 
14, T23, 129 

Oyama Iwao, field -marshal, 225, 
242, 243 

Oyumi Kubo, the, 121 

Pacific Ocean, 157, 158 

Pak-je or Kudara, 16, 17, 18, 31, 

23, 24, 25, 41, 42 
Tak-je, King of, 27 
Paul V. (Pope), 122 
Peking, 91, 220, 233 
Perry, admiral, 178, 179, 189 
Pfhung-do (Hoto), island of, 223 

Philip II. of Spain, 158 
Philip III. (of Spain), 122 
Phillippines, the, 137, 157 
Phon han (Benkan), 17 
Phyong-Yang (Heijo), capital of 

Chosun, 17, 138, 224 
Pi-Asje wo, 241 
Port Arthur (Rio-jun-Ko), 225, 229, 

232, 233, 239, 241, 242, 243, 

244, 245, 249 
Portsmouth, Peace of, 249 
Portugese, the, 126, 156 
Postsan-han (Kan), 17 
Prussia, 182 
Pyon-chin, 17 

Rai Sanyo, the historian, 175 

Reizei-Tenno, 63rd Emperor, 64 

Richardson, 185 

Rihaku, Chinese writer, 49 

Ri-Ki, King of Korea, 219 

Rinoji-no-miya, Prince, 196 

Riiikiu, island of, 205 

Riukiu, King of, 156 

Riuzoji family, 122 

Rokuhara-Tandai, 90 

Rome, 158 

Roosevelt, Mr., 248 

Rosen, 249 

Rovjestvensky, admiral, 245, 248 

Russia, 91, 176, 179, 182, 228, 229, 

232, 234, 236, 237, 238, 243, 

244, 248, 249 

Sadatoki, 96, 97 
Saga district, the 209 
Sagami, province of, 13, 85, 121, 

Saga-Tenno, 52nd Emperor, 52 
Saghalien, 177, 218, 246, 250 
Saich5, Buddhist priest, 53 
Saigio, Buddhist priest and poet, 

93. 94 
Saigo Kirino, 212 
Saigo Takamori, general, 188, 208, 

209, 210, 211 
Saito family, the, 130 
Sakai, 147 



Saka-noae-no-Tamuramaro, the 

general, 51 
Samurai, the, 86, oj, 105, 121, 148, 

I5i» 153. 154. 170, I73» 182, 

184, 201, 204, 205, 207, 208, 

209, 210, 211 
Sanetomo, 88 
San-ho, plain of, 243, 244 
Sanuki, province of, 75, 81 
Sasebo, port of, 238 
Sashiura, village of, 62 
Sassa Norimasa, 135 
Satsuma, prince of, 201 
Satsuma, 126, 170, 185, 186, 187, 

188, 194, 195, 202, 208 
Schiroyama, 212 
Schuschi, 228 

Seimei-6, King of Pak-je, 25 
Seishonagon, 66 
Seiso, Emperor of China, 125 
Seiwa-Tenno, 56th Emperor, 58 
Sekigahara, plain of, 141 
Sendai, town of, 122 
Senjimon, the poem, 21 
Seonghwan (Sei-kan), 223 
Seoul, 138, 220, 222, 223, 224, 239 
Sesshu, the painter, 117 
Seto, inland sea of, 9, 62 
Settsu, province of, 45 
Seymour, Sir Edward, 234 
Shanghai, 206 
Shantung, 225, 226, 232 
Shiba family, the no, 113, 129 
Shibata Katsuie, 134 
Shiga, town of, 42 
Shigemori, 79 
Shigeuji, 114 
Shijonawate, field of, 105 
Shikoku, island of, 75, 122, 170 
Shimabara, peninsula of, 163 
Shimatsu family, the 122 
Shimatsu Saburo, 185 
Shimatsu Yoshihisa, 135 
Shimoda, 179, 180 
Shimonoseki (Bakan), Peace of, 

228, 236 
Shimosa, province of, 62, 63, 114, 

121, 196 
Shimozuke, province of, 49, 121, 


Shinano, province of, 13, 80 
Shingonshu, the, Buddhist sect, 53, 

. 94. 
Shinikei, 138 

Shinowara Kunimoto, 211, 212 
Shinran-Shonin, Buddhist priest, 

. 94 
Shinsai, 76 
Shintoism, 27, 175 
Shionoritsuhiko-no-Mikoto, leader 
of the army under Sujin-Tenno, 
Shirakawa, 197 
Shirakawa-Tenno, 72nd Emperor, 

, 72, 73> 74 
Shi-sen, battle of, 139 
Shishi-ga-dani, village of, 78 
Shitennoji, temple of, 31 
Shizugadake, battle of, 134 
Shomu, 45th Emperor, 47, 48, 49 
Shotoku, son of the 33rd Emperor, 

3°> 31 > 34, 35 
Shotoku, 48th Emperor, 47 
Shugensho, Chinese family, 124 
Shugo, no 

Shunkan, the priest, 78 
Siam, 158 
Siberia, 176 
Silesia, 91 
Sil-la, or Shiraki, state of, II, 16, 

17, 24, 41, 42 
Sil-la, king of, 25 
Skikoku, island of, 135 
Sobin, 39 

Soga family, the 27, 29, 34, 3$, 36 
Sbng-hwan, 224 
Soshokun, 138 
South America, 158 
Soya, straits of, 246 
Spain, 158 

Spaniards, the, 126, 156, 176 
Stark, admiral, 239 
Stossel, 240, 241, 243, 244 
Sugawara family, the 59 
Sugawara Michizane, 65 
Sugawara, the scholar, 60 
Suiko-Tenno (the Empress), 33rd 

Emperor, 3, 25, 30, 47 
Suinin-Tenno, nth Emperor, 14 



Sujin-Tenno, 10th Emperor, II, 17 
Sumpu, 147 
Suo, province of, 126 
Suruga, province of, 13, 158 
Susa-noo-no-Mikoto, the god, 7 
Sushun, the Emperor, 30 
Sutoku-Tenno, 75th Emperor, 74 
Sutschou, 228 
Su-Yung-Fu, 229 
Suzaku-Tenno, 6 1st Emperor, 62 
Szet-schnan, 228 

Tabaruzaka, battle of, 211 
Tachibanahime, princess, 13 
Taidong, the river, 224 
Taiho year, 44 
Taika reforms, 39, 57, 87 
Taira family, the, 63, 67, 73, 76, 77, 

78, 79, 80, 81, 86, 89, 93, 129 
Taira Kiyomori, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79, 

80, 81 
Taira Masakado, 62, 63 
Taira Sadamori, 63 
Tai-Won-Kun, 219, 220 
Takahira Kogoro, 249 
Takakura-Tenno, 80th Emperor, 

Takamuko-no-Kuromaro, 39 
Takamatsu, fortress of, 131, 133 
Takamori, 212 
Takano Choei, 177 
Takeda family, the, 131 
Takeda Shingen, 121, 130 
Takenoshima, 248 
Takeuchi family, the, 27 
Takeuchi-no-Sukune, minister of 

Jingu-Kogo, 16 
Takeuchi Skikibu, 175, 176 
Takigawa Katsumasu, 134 
Taku, fort of, 234 
Takuma Tamenari, the painter, 66 
Talien-wan (Dairen), port of, 233, 

Tamagawa, the river, 167 
Taneda, major-general, 210 
Tanegashina, island of, 126 
Tani Motoki, major-general, 211 
Tankei, the carver, 95 
Tanuma Okitsugu, 172 
Teiseiko, 159 

Temmu-Tenno, 40th Emperor, 48 
Tendai, the, Buddhist sect, 53, 94 
Tenji-Tenno, 38th Emperor, 42, 43, 

44, 57 
Tenshu, fortress of, 131 
Terajima Munenori, 230 
Tibetans, language of the, 2 
Tien-tschwang-tai (Den-sho-dai), 

Tientsin, 221, 222, 223, 224 
Ting, admiral, 226 
Toba-Tenno, 74th Emperor, 74 
Todaiji, temple of, 49 
Togo, 223 
Togo Heihachiro, vice - admiral, 

238, 239, 240 
Togo Masaji, Rear-Admiral, 246, 

Togukawa family, the 140, 149, 

152, 182 
Togukawa Iesato, 196 
Tokugawa leyasu, 130, 134, 135, 

140, 141, 142, 145, 146, 147, 

148, 156, 157, 162, 165 
Togukawa Yoshinobu, 182, 188, 

194. 195, 196 
Toho, Chinese writer, 49 
Tokihira, 60 
T5kio, 141, 145, 157, 201, 205, 206, 

211, 224, 229, 250 
Tokiyori, 90 
Toku-ri-ji, 242 
Toneri, prince, 48 
To-no-mine, temple of, 43 
* ', Torikaebaya - monogatari, " the 

satire, 66 
Tosa, 188, 193, 194, 195, 202 
Tosa Mitsunaga, the painter, 95 
Tosa Mitsuoki, the painter, 167 
Tosa, prince of, 199 
Toyotomi family, the, 141, 142, 

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general, 

I3i» 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 

137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 156, 

Trans-Siberian railway, 232 
Tschekiang, 228 
Tschemulpo, 219, 220, 223, 239, 




Tsching, Manchurian dynasty of, 


Tschung-King, 228 

Tshinampo, 240 

Tsuboi, Professor, of Tokio, 2 

Tsuchikumo, people of, 10 

Tsugaru, straits of, 245 

Tsukushi, province of, 17, 45, 67 

Tsunayoshi, 165 

Tsushima, island of, 66, 156 

Tung-shan, island of, 233 

Turks, language of the, 2 

Uda-Tenno, 59th Emperor, 58, 59 
Uesugi family, the 114 
Uesugi Kagekatsu, 141, 142 
Uesugi Kenshin, 121 
Uesugi Noritada, 114 
Uesugi Norizane, 113, 114 
Ugayafukiaezu-no-Mikoto, father 

of the 1st Emperor, 8 
Uji family, the, 33 
Uji, town of, 65, 66 
Uji-no-Wakairatsuko, son of the 

15th Emperor, 21, 22 
Ujitsuna, 121 
Ujiyasu, 121 
Ukida Hideie, 138 
Ullong, island of, 247 
Ulsan, mountain of, 139 
Umako, chancellor of the Emperor 

Sushun, 30, 34 
Umako, son of Soga-no-Iuame, 28 
Unebi, mountain of, 10 
United States, 178, 180, 1S1, 219, 

Unkei, the carver, 95 
Uraga, 178, 179 
Uriu, rear-admiral, 238, 239 

Vladivostock, 240, 245, 248 


Wake-no-Kiyomaro, 49 
Wani, 21 

Watanabe Kazan, 177 
Wei-hai-wei, fortress of, 226, 233 
Witte, 249 

Xavier, Francesco, 122, 126, 161 

Yalu, the river, 225, 227, 240, 241 
Yamabe-no-Akahito, the song- 
writer, 50 
Yamada, town of, 147 
Yamada Nagamasa, 158, 159 
Yamagata Aritomo, field -marshal, 

224, 227 
Yamagata Daini, 175 
Yamaguchi (or Little Kioto) 122, 

125, 126 
Yamaguchi, lieutenant - general, 

Yamaji, lieutenant - general, 225 
Yamana Sozen, the general, 112, 

Yamana Ujikiyo family, the 109 
Yamato, province of, 9, 21, J04 
Yamatota-kern-no-Mikoto, son of 

the 1 2th Emperor, 12, 13, 14 
Yamazaki, battle of, 133 
Yang-tse-Kiang, 159 
Yedo, 145, 147, 148, 156, 157, 167, 

170, 173. 175, 176, 180, 184, 

185, 195, 196, 201 
Yellow Sea, the, 224, 238 
Yen-Tschuan, 222 
Yi-yu-Song (Rijiosho), 138 
Yodo, the river, 167 
Yokohama, 206 
Yonekichi Miyake, Professor, 3 
Yorii, 88 
Yorimichi, 65 
Yoshifusa, wife of Montoku-Tenno, 

56th Emperor, 57 
Yoshigumi, 119 
Yoshimune, 170, 171, 172, 173 
Yoshimasa, 113, 114, 116 
Yoshimitsu, 106, 109, 1 10, 125 
Yoshimochi, no 
Yoshino, village of, 104 
Yoshiteru, 119 
Yoshitsune, 77, 79. 81, 87 
Yozei-Tenno, 57th Emperor, 58 
Yuriaku-Tenno, 21st Emperor, 22, 


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